All West Contra Costa County schools closed amid COVID-19 outbreak

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(CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif.) Officials with the West Contra Costa County Unified School District announced Wednesday that all schools would be closed Friday and Monday while the district attempts to cope with a staffing shortage, exacerbated by the spread of the omicron variant.

The district posted a statement to its website Wednesday night that detailed the reasoning behind the closure.

“This has been a very challenging week for school communities across our district. The omicron variant spike in cases happening across the country is greatly impacting our schools as well,” the statement attributed to Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst. Hurst went on to note the "immense strain" that the spread of omicron has put on teachers, administration and students.

Classes on Friday, Jan. 7 were canceled as were classes on Monday, Jan. 10. The hope is that the extended weekend will allow those infected extra time to recover and will also make it easier for custodial staff to deep clean the campuses.

Additionally, the WCCUSD COVID dashboard indicated that King Elementary School was closed on Tuesday after ten students tested positive for COVID-19. That school will reportedly be closed until Jan. 14.

In addition to the long weekend, the district is urging everyone to get tested before returning to campuses on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and closing school to prevent further outbreaks is an action we take very seriously and will only do when it is absolutely necessary,” Dr. Hurst’s statement read.

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