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CUSD reports COVID cases

Ceres Unified School District reported 47 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, including 39 for students and eight for staff members, for the week of Aug. 23-27.

Students returned to campuses in Ceres on Aug. 11 for in-person learning with coronavirus safety measures in place. 

CUSD had 44 students and nine staff members test positive for coronavirus the week of Aug. 16-20 and 30 people (27 students and three staff) the week of Aug. 11-13.

For perspective, the district has 14,179 students and 2,600 employees.

The district has had zero COVID-related class closures.

“It’s definitely something we are monitoring carefully,” said Beth Jimenez, communications specialist for the district. “The health and safety of our students and staff are our priority. We report exposures and positive cases to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance released on July 9 removed the requirement for social distancing at K-12 schools, but requires adults and students to wear face masks while inside classrooms and school buildings.

Frequent and thorough handwashing is strongly encouraged throughout the day. Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms, offices, and common areas for students and staff to use.

Face coverings aren’t required for students exempt due to medical conditions as specified in a medical doctor’s note.

On Aug. 11, the CDPH issued a new public health order requiring all school staff to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week.

The new policy for school staff took effect on Aug. 12, and schools must be in full compliance by Oct. 15. Robust and free testing resources are available to K-12 schools through the CA K-12 schools testing program.

“There’s no substitute for in-person instruction, and California will continue to lead the nation in keeping students and staff safe while ensuring fully open classrooms,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “Today’s order will help the state’s continued efforts to increase vaccinations, similar to the orders encouraging state and health care workers and businesses to get vaccinated.”

Several members of the Ceres community expressed their opinions about staff and students having to wear masks while inside classrooms and school buildings during the Aug. 19 Ceres School Board meeting.

“There were a total of three comments representing a variety of perspectives,” Jimenez said. 

Despite California leading the nation in vaccinations, with more than 46 million doses administered and over 77 percent of those eligible having received at least one dose, the state is seeing increasing numbers of people – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – being admitted to the hospital. This increase is heavily due to the Delta variant.