Verde Elementary closes due to suspected case of coronavirus

Verde Elementary closes due to suspected case of coronavirus
Verde Elementary at 2000 Giaramita St.

Verde Elementary was closed this morning and will undergo a “deep cleaning” today after a staff member was reported to have a suspected case of coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD).

“We apologize for the inconvenience but believe that this is the best option for the health and safety of students and staff,” the district said in a statement.

Following the announcement, Demetrio Gonzalez, president of the United Teachers of Richmond, which represents WCCUSD employees, called upon the WCCUSD Board of Education and Superintendent Matthew Duffy to close all district schools starting Monday.

As of this morning, the district had not made that determination. WCCUSD spokesperson Marcus Walton told the Standard the district is “working with county health officials to determine next steps.”

Meanwhile on Wednesday, WCCUSD moved to postpone non-essential events with 50 or more people, per guidance by Contra Costa Health Services. Events postponed until further notice include the open house, dance festival, spring music concerts, District spelling bee and Elementary School Basketball League.

All athletic events will be played without spectators, the same as all school districts throughout the county.

Schools are also practicing “social distancing as much as possible,” the district said.

To date, no WCCUSD students are known to have contracted COVID-19. On Monday, WCCUSD informed parents at two elementary schools — Washington and Mira Vista — that a relative of students attending those schools had tested positive for COVID-19. The schools resumed but the students in question were set to remain home until further notice, according to the school district.

Kathy Chouteau contributed to this story.