Merced Union High School District closing schools, returning to distance learning

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Merced Union High School District will be pausing in-person learning and returning to distance learning starting on Wednesday, December 16.

District officials say they are not being forced to close but are doing so because fewer students and staff are coming to campuses.

Schools will reopen and students can return to in-person learning on January 19, 2021.

Superintendent Alan Peterson says they knew the closures would be possible as the holidays neared, but they stayed hopeful it would not come down to this. He added that the schools, "are simply unable to operate under the current circumstances."

Merced County is currently under a stay-at-home order as ICU capacity availability dipped below 15% in the San Joaquin Valley region.

As of Monday afternoon, Merced County has six ICU beds available.
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