By WCCUSD Superintendent Matt Duffy
We have continued to monitor the weather and air quality forecasts and decided that it is in the best interests of our students and staff to keep our schools closed on Friday, October 13. This decision extends to all athletic events and practices as well as all other after school activities. Events planned for Saturday, including the Fingerprinting Party at Helms, have also been cancelled. District offices will remain open on Friday.
We do not take the decision to close our schools lightly, and know the burden it places on our families. The air quality forecast has improved slightly for tomorrow and Saturday, but it is still predicted to be in the unhealthy range due to the ongoing wildfires in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, and the other counties to our north. Our surrounding districts such as Benicia, Vallejo, and Vacaville made the decision to also close schools on Friday.
For the second consecutive day, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a Spare the Air Alert for today and Friday. The BAAQMD has also issued a Health Advisory with the following tips to help deal with the poor air quality:
- Limit outdoor activities to avoid unnecessary exposure if you smell smoke
- Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside.
- Reduce exposure to smoky air by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed, if possible.
- If you cannot keep windows and doors closed due to high temperatures, seek out cooling centers in your area.
- Stay tuned to local media for changes in smoke or weather conditions.
The Contra Costa Health Services also advises you to contact your health care provider if you experience any symptoms such as repeated coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, palpitations, nausea, fatigue or lightheadedness.
Thank you again for your continued patience and support in dealing with the air quality issues. Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. Please be safe over the next few day and remain indoors when possible.
We will continue to update our community with any news via our website and social media pages.