Parlier High School closed until Monday for deep cleaning amid coronavirus concerns

PARLIER, Calif. (KFSN) -- At Mathew Breletic Elementary in Parlier, cleaning crews are hard at work sanitizing every surface in every classroom.

The elementary school is being disinfected since the cafeteria is shared by both Breletic and Parlier High.

"We believe this is above and beyond, but we wanted to make sure we did everything to keep the staff and students in this community as healthy as possible," says Scott Griffin with the Parlier Unified School District.

The closure comes after a Parlier High School student visited a country that's now considered high risk for the coronavirus. However, the student returned from the now infected country two weeks ago and has not shown any signs of being ill.

"We knew that this was a step that was not necessary," Griffin said. "I would say that even the County of Health would tell us this is above and beyond. But we appreciate our board taking immediate action to really care for the safety of our students and our staff."

Joshua Gomez is a senior at Parlier High and feels the proactive deep clean is warranted.

"I wouldn't say I'm concerned, Gomez said. "I'm just a little relieved the school is doing something in order to like protect all of us. You know, putting some effort into it."

District administrators are now figuring out how the instructional hours will be made up, and whether some scheduled half days need to be regular school days. They could also take back an inservice or teacher workday.

For Gomez, a few days off- isn't going to be wasted. He said despite the distraction, he's still remaining on task.

"Now I'm just working on scholarships now that college is coming up," Gomez said. "Yeah, I have a lot to worry about. That's what I'm trying to do right now."

Gomez has heard some Parlier parents are concerned about the spread of the virus, so he hopes the precautionary cleaning makes them feel more secure.

The following is a statement from the school:

"Parlier High School is committed to ensuring the safety of all students. As reported earlier, there is no report of any student or staff being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Nevertheless, Parlier High School will be taking additional precautionary measures and the Parlier High School campus will be closed to students and staff for the remainder of this week. Parlier Unified staff will perform a thorough and deep cleaning of all surfaces in all rooms and buildings at Parlier High School to further ensure the health and safety of all students.

Classes will resume on Monday, March 16.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dr. George M. Alvarado."
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