The Buena Vista School District announced Friday afternoon that it was closing all school facilities for two weeks, effective today, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,

District Superintendent Lisa Yates wrote in an email that the closure would include the already scheduled spring break, and the district will reassess the situation later to decide if students and staff should return on March 30.

“During the closure, all schools, district facilities, buses will undergo additional deep cleanings with hospital-grade disinfectants. We encourage the community to continue hand washing and follow other recommendations from the CDC about how to avoid the spread of illness,” Yates wrote.

Late Saturday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new COVID-19 guidelines that included an eight-week classroom closing guideline.

In an email Sunday morning Yates said, “It would ultimately be my recommendation to the school board to adjust the school calendar, but I would be following the guidance of our local public health and, of course, the governor. I expect we will see more guidance/directives from the state level this coming week.”

Yates noted school personnel will distribute lunches this week at the elementary school in a test program and asked for the public’s patience while the district adjusts to need.

Bagged meals will be provided today through Friday, which families/students may pick up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day at the Avery Parsons Elementary School drop-off loop on East Main Street. Bags will be taken to individuals in their cars.

“We are doing our best to estimate the number of bags to prepare and will do what we can to have enough ready for all who need. As the week moves along, we will have a better idea of quantity needed. This is available to all families; there are no qualifiers. If you are unable to get to Avery Parsons during this time and are in need of the meal for your children, you can email:emily@cornerstonechurchbv.com, who is coordinating meal delivery for families,” Yates said.

“You may also use the same email to volunteer to hand out or deliver meals. The district will announce at a later date if meals will extend through spring break.”

Yates said the district will continue to provide updates about the schools’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak using the district website, atbvschools.org, email, the district’s alert system and district-produced social media.

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