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Fresno Unified Closes Special Ed School Due to COVID Infections



Addicott School has closed because of COVID-19 infections. (Shutterstock)
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Fresno Unified has closed Addicott Elementary School for 10 days after a fourth person tested positive for COVID-19, district spokeswoman Nikki Henry told GV Wire on Friday.

“Yesterday we learned of a 4th positive case impacting Addicott. Out of an abundance of caution for our students and staff, and in consultation with (Fresno County Department of Public Health), we closed Addicott for the next 10 days to deep clean. Students will receive instruction virtually,” Henry said in an email.

The east-central Fresno school is attended by students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade with varying types of special education needs.

The school closures that started in March 2020 highlighted that special needs students in particular are ill-served by online classes and services.

According to state records, 43 students were enrolled last year at Addicott.

Multiple COVID-19 infections among staff members resulted in the closure of Addicott Elementary School at 4784 E Dayton Ave. in Fresno. (FUSD)

First School Closure for Fresno Unified

A staffer who asked not to be named said one class was closed last week with two confirmed cases, and another class was closed early this week with two more cases. The staffer said the infection spread from class to class because staffers were being swapped out by the school’s administration who were aware that the employees had been in close proximity to positive cases but assumed that vaccinations and masking would prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Spokeswoman Amy Idsvoog said all four infection cases involved staffers, not students. It marks the first time that the district had to return an entire school to virtual learning since schools reopened to in-person instruction, she said.

Henry did not immediately respond to a query about whether the district would take additional steps to safeguard against infections when the school reopens.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email