Yuba City school closes temporarily due to surge of COVID-19 cases

Local News

YUBA CITY, Calif. (KTXL) – Yuba City Unified School District officials announced Thursday that Butte Vista Elementary will close temporarily in response to the rising rate of COVID-19 infections.

In a bulletin to families, the district said the school would be closed from Friday, Jan. 14, until Monday, Jan. 18, with further information about COVID-19 testing being given to impacted families before their return Tuesday.

The district’s message went on to say that continuing in-person learning in this environment “not only poses a great risk of exposure to students, and families, it would cause great disruption to the education program at the school as absences of both students and staff continue to climb.”

The district added there are currently no plans to change instruction at other schools in the district but did not rule out the possibility of other schools facing a similar situation.

Some families picking up their Butte Vista Elementary School students Thursday told FOX40 they were in favor of the decision. 

“This is a safety for everybody, not only the parents, the staff working there, the children. So it is a good idea,” said grandfather David Kumar.

“I think it’s a great idea. Safety is our number one priority right now,” said Sonia Sharma, who is an aunt of Butte Vista students. 

Despite the extra days off, one parent said the district could have acted faster. 

“Well, my thought is the person that got COVID is my daughter’s … desk neighbor. And I’m curious why they let him come to school today when this was found out yesterday,” said Chad Thompson. 

Thompson said a hybrid learning model could work but wants kids to be able to hang out somehow. 

“We did the last year, you know, we did the homeschool and that was fine,” he said. “But I think the kids need to interact with other kids. So it’s a hard one to decide on.” 

FOX40 reached out to the health departments, the district and the school board members who made the decision to take the extra days off but has not yet heard back.

The announcement comes as COVID-19 cases continue to impact schools statewide.

YCUSD recorded 206 positive COVID-19 cases among its students and staff this week, with 30 staff members in quarantine.

For this week, the district’s dashboard also shows 106 classes on modified quarantine. According to the district and the state, unvaccinated students who have come in close contact with a positive case at school can still go to campus, so long as they were masked while they were around each other. During the 10-day quarantine period, state public health officials say those students can attend in-person classes if they:

  • Are asymptomatic.
  • Continue to appropriately mask, as required.
  • Undergo at least twice weekly testing during the 10-day quarantine period.
  • Continue to quarantine for all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and activities within the community setting.

Sacramento City Unified School District paused extracurricular activities due to a COVID-related staffing shortage, and Los Angeles reported 62,000 students and staff test positive for COVID-19 ahead of the district’s return to school on Tuesday.

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