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Fresno County School Districts Close Temporarily Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Fresno Unified School District
Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Bob Nelson announced Friday that schools will close until April 13 due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

Three Valley districts have made the decision to close their schools starting Monday until April 13: Fresno, Clovis and Central Unified. They’re the latest across the state to announce a blanket closure of schools due to coronavirus concerns.  

In a press conference Friday, Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson said preserving the health and well-being of students is the district’s priority.   

“Out of an abundance of caution we believe this is the best course of action to help reduce any potential spread of the virus in our community,” said Nelson.

The move to close FUSD, the third largest school district in the state, is unprecedented, he said. 

“It’s never happened that we’ve closed schools up and down the state of California,” said Nelson. “This is a completely new, uncharted territory.”

Fresno County is one of the most impoverished regions in the country; almost 90 percent of students qualify for free lunch. Nelson said the district is working out how to provide meals to students throughout the closures.

Clovis Unified announced its closure Friday evening. Starting Mar. 17, Clovis Unified will serve breakfast and lunch at every high school and the following elementary schools: Clovis Elementary, Cole, Fancher Creek, Jefferson, Lincoln, Mickey-Cox, Miramonte, Mountain View, Nelson, Pinedale, Sierra Vista, Tarpey, Temperance-Kutner and Weldon.

This story will be updated.

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.
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