COVID-19 outbreak shuts down Modesto high school less than a week after students return to campus

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MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) – A Modesto high school has shut down less than a week after allowing students to return because of a COVID-19 outbreak among staff on campus.

A small group of students was allowed to return to campus at Gregori High School in Modesto before the outbreak occurred.

Modesto City Schools spokesperson Becky Fortuna told FOX40 that parents were notified of the outbreak. 

“We made the decision as a district to shut down Gregori out of an abundance of caution and out of the concern for the safety for our students and staff,” Fortuna explained.

She said all school staff and students have temporarily transitioned back to distance learning. 

“Instruction will not be interrupted in any way,” Fortuna said.

While the school is closed district officials said the campus will be deep cleaned and thoroughly sanitized over the next couple of days and then will remain empty until staff and students return Oct. 26. 

“This isn’t something we want to go through. We will be practicing our social distancing standards, wearing masks, the hand sanitization to avoid having to go through this at any of our other school sites,” Fortuna said.

District officials said none of the staff who tested positive had any direct contact with students on campus and all safety measures were being followed. 

“We’re confident that those students are safe. None of those students have a positive test. And so, when our staff returns to campus, we’ll just double down on those protocols and move forward,” Fortuna said.

District officials are now thanking parents for their patience during this time. 

“We like to remind them that we’re in this together and we appreciate their support and we remain dedicated to their students’ education,” Fortuna said.

Modesto City Schools is operating small student learning hubs at 33 of their 34 locations and as of Tuesday, no other staff or students have tested positive for COVID-19. 

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