Fresno County has filed an injunction against the Reedley-based private, Christian schools that began in-person classes earlier this month, despite prohibitive state guidelines.
Supervisor Steve Brandau held a press conference Monday afternoon to oppose the lawsuit against Immanuel Schools, which serve kindergarten through twelfth grade students.
“It isn’t because Immanuel is a private school, a Christian school or anything of the sort. I feel the same way about any school, private or public,” said Brandau.
He quoted a joint statement from organizations representing pediatricians and educators, saying in-person school supports children’s development, but he didn’t read the part that called on public health agencies to help make the best decision for their community.
The injunction, filed Friday, says Immanuel isn’t providing appropriate masking or social distancing, posing a serious health threat to faculty, students and the city.
Brandau admitted Reedley is a COVID-19 hotspot, and said the county has gone to great lengths to address it.
“So, we are protecting our farm laborers, our ag laborers, across the county and so hopefully we’ll be able to douse that hotspot with these resources,” he said.
Among cities in Fresno County, Reedley has the third highest number of confirmed cases at 1,138, which is approximately 4% of its population. The metropolitan cities of Fresno and Clovis top the list, with Clovis confirming 1,191 COVID-19 cases and Fresno confirming 11,841 cases as of Friday.
Immanuel Schools declined to comment for this story.