Tulare County officials encourage Outside Creek School to not reopen after spring break

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A small K-8 school south of Farmersville has made national news.

The New York Times recently reported that Outside Creek is the only public school still open in the state of California.

Outside Creek School District Superintendent Derrick Bravo didn't return messages from Action News on Monday.

But in a Facebook post addressed to parents on March 21, Bravo wrote that school remains open with an independent study option.

He also shared a link from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"CDC states: Short to medium closures do not impact the spread of the virus," Bravo wrote.

But Zaide Duran's family was still concerned, so decided she should study from home.

"Although we are in the country, there's a lot of people that may still have it around here," she said.

"It is best to stay at home during this shelter in place directive," Tulare County Public Health Director Karen Elliott said. "But if the school continues to remain open they would need to follow all the proper steps to protect all individuals that includes: Washing hands often, staying at home if sick, avoiding close contact with individuals who are sick, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect frequently; put distance between each individual to adhere to social distancing."

Earlier this month, Bravo told The Sun Gazette that staying open was the best way to provide students with nutritious meals and a safe place to be when parents are at work.

Duran's grandparents are watching her, but she knows that may not be an option for other families.

She's not worried about her classmates who are still being sent to school.

"I don't think (there should be) much concern, since there's little staff, little teachers, and then not as many students there right now," Duran said.

Monday is Outside Creek's last day of spring break. It's unclear if students will return on Tuesday.

The New York Times reports that Bravo was considering extending the break by a week.

Later on Monday, Tulare County officials said Public Health Office Karen Haught is strongly encouraging Outside Creek not to reopen after spring break.

But they say the decision is ultimately up to Outside Creek's superintendent and board.

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