Students, staff and families in the Santa Barbara Unified School District received an official mass text today from the district announcing school closures to begin Monday because of concerns around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido worked with district superintendents, charter school administrators and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to close all schools in the county by Wednesday. Districts will monitor the situation to determine when campuses will reopen.
“It’s going to be looked at on a day-by-day basis, if not an hour by hour basis,” said SBUnified administrative assistant Carol Tait.
The district has not commented on whether courses will be moved to online instruction or suspended entirely.
“District officials are working on a plan to continue providing meals to our students during the school closure,” says SBUnified’s official statement.
Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said, “We support the decision to close public schools. While there are no confirmed cases at this time, this demonstration of social distancing will help to slow the spread of the virus and minimize the public health impacts in our community.”
The update comes one day after the halt to local high school sports, and three days after UC Santa Barbara moved courses to remote instruction. At the time of writing, Santa Barbara City College remains open.