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Raisin City Elementary School Sends 8th Grade Class Home Following Small Outbreak



Raisin City Elementary School officials on Tuesday sent the eighth grade classroom home after three students tested positive for COVID-19. Some parents in this rural Fresno County community of 414 people have been concerned about the school district’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

Evangelina Urias is a single mother of four daughters who attend Raisin City Elementary School. She says she had heard students in her daughter's eighth grade class had tested positive for COVID-19 last week. She had been asking the school’s principal to notify parents about the cases and take more action to protect the students' health.

“I'm still frustrated because of the fact that they just made this decision when I've been going to the school; I've been calling the school; I've been sitting there in a meeting with the principal telling her to do something,” she says. 

But Raisin City School District Superintendent Orin Hirschkorn says the school is following the Fresno County Department of Public Health’s guidelines. 

“Their recommendation is that, when there's a total of three [cases] in any class, that they would like to shut down that class, just to be as cautious as possible,” he says. 

Urias says she’s also concerned with the district's decision to shut down the classroom for one week. In response, Hirchkorn says the first two students in the eighth grade class who tested positive will have completed their quarantine by Sept. 13. 

“And then that would put the class total [of cases] for that eighth grade class at one, not three on that date. And so then there's no need to have class shut down,” he says.

Hirchkorn says the district is working with the health department to do contact tracing.

Madi Bolanos covered immigration and underserved communities for KVPR from 2020-2022. Before joining the station, she interned for POLITCO in Washington D.C. where she reported on US trade and agriculture as well as indigenous women’s issues during the Canadian election. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in anthropology from San Francisco State University. Madi spent a semester studying at the Danish Media and Journalism School where she covered EU policies in Brussels and alleged police brutality at the Croatian-Serbian border.