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Napa County public schools to stay closed through May 1 as coronavirus shutdown continues

Napa County public schools to stay closed through May 1 as coronavirus shutdown continues

From the Complete coronavirus coverage from the Napa Valley Register, St. Helena Star, and The Weekly Calistogan series
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Napa County educational leaders announced Wednesday that the shutdown of all local public schools will be extended through at least May 1, while a statewide shelter-at-home order continues amid the coronavirus epidemic.

The decision to continue keeping students at home was based on the advice of Napa County’s public health officer Dr. Karen Relucio, according to a statement jointly issued by the county Office of Education and five school districts.

Napa is joining five other Bay Area counties in extending closures until May 1.

Campuses will remain shuttered in the Napa Valley Unified School District, which includes Napa, American Canyon and Yountville, as well as the school districts in St. Helena, Calistoga, Pope Valley and Howell Mountain.

NVUSD canceled classes for more than 16,000 children and teenagers March 13, and other districts followed soon afterward. County health officials already were curbing assemblies of more than 250 people and requiring at least 6 feet of space between visitors at smaller events before Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 19 issued a sweeping order calling on all Californians to stay home, except to buy food and necessities or work at certain essential jobs.

“NCOE and school district leaders will reassess in mid-April and determine a date to resume in-person classes,” local educators said in their statement. “Should the governor’s order end before the end of April, school districts will be flexible and consider resuming classes earlier.”

However, prospects for a quick return to in-person education have looked dim thus far, as the number of people contracting the COVID-19 virus has continued to grow.

Newsom on Tuesday warned residents to expect social distancing directives to stay in force at least until mid-April and for as long as 12 more weeks. Locally, NVUSD’s board is scheduled to vote Thursday night on buying 500 laptop computers to better equip district staff to work from home while the shelter-in-place order continues.

Editor’s Note: Because of the health implications of the COVID-19 virus, this article is being made available free to all online readers. If you’d like to join us in supporting the mission of local journalism, please visit napavalleyregister.com/members/join/.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. You can reach Howard Yune at 707-256-2214 or hyune@napanews.com

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Public Safety Reporter

Howard Yune covers public safety for the Napa Valley Register. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.

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