COVID-19 Variant Causes West Contra Costa Schools to Temporarily Close 

By: Kyla Mitchell

Wednesday afternoon, West Contra Costa County Unified School District declared all of their schools will be closed up until Monday, January 10th, and have also canceled all high school sports during their closing. The district’s temporary closure is due to the COVID-19 variant, Omicron. The schools have recently experienced many absent students and a shortage of staff.

Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst announced in a statement for KPIX that, “…In our district, we are seeing far more staff absences than usual because of the virus, and we also have an increased number of students testing positive for COVID-19 as we return from winter break…” The superintendent also stated that “This is putting an immense strain on our system.”

At Richmond High School 34 people tested positive. West Contra Costa School District wants to take these days off for staff and students who have COVID time to recover and give their custodians time to deep clean. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the district is using “smoke days” for these two days off. 

Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst shut down Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and sent them to online learning on Tuesday. They won’t be back until January 8th. District spokesman Ryan Phillips stated that “There were more than 10 COVID-19 cases, a number that grew in the afternoon and affected nine classrooms and is considered an outbreak.” 


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