Clovis Unified School District announced on Thursday that they would be suspending all activities, competitions and events until April 13 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This decision includes all athletic events, clubs, music and performing arts events and student rallies. Classes will, however, continue to operate as normal.
The State of California Department of Public Health on Wednesday announced an advisory suggesting that public events of more than 250 people should be cancelled or postponed in response to the spread of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus.
“Large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled. This includes gatherings such as concerts, conferences, and professional, college, and school sporting events,” the advisory from the Department of Public Health stated.
It was this advisory that drove the decision by CUSD to postpone all events. The District had been working throughout the day to adjust its events that fell under the Department of Public Health’s announcement.
By early afternoon, the district determined that many of its events would not be able to meet the guidelines laid out in the Department of Health’s advisory and elected to cancel and postpone those events. Essential functions of the district will remain open and operating, though.
“We are defining essential functions as anything that is essential to the operation of a school site, student learning and/or governance of our district,” a statement on the CUSD website said.
“As indicated in this directive, schools will remain open. Most importantly, we will continue to be in close and frequent communication with Fresno County’s Public Health Department and follow their best practices, act calmly and thoughtfully, and keep the best interest of our students and staff at the forefront,” the statement added.
The pace of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak has significantly increased in the last 24 hours. The NBA, MLB and NHL have all placed their seasons on hold. The NCAA announced that the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, more commonly known as March Madness, have been cancelled.
Meanwhile, other sports bodies including NASCAR, IndyCar and the PGA Tour have announced their events will continue, but with no fans present. Disneyland in Anaheim has also been closed.
Multiple baseball teams including Clovis West and Buchanan made announcements early in the afternoon that their games on Thursday and Friday would be canceled. They were the first CUSD events to be cancelled and were followed by the district-wide announcement roughly two hours later.
California’s decision to limit public gatherings follows similar decisions by the state of Washington and New York. New York City on Thursday announced they would ban any gathering of more than 500 people leading all Broadway theaters to shutter their doors until the end of March.