Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton is the latest school in the area to announce a shutdown as more cases of the novel coronavirus crop up in the Bay Area, school officials announced this afternoon, March 11.
Beginning on Monday, March 16, the Catholic private school will institute online instruction and tentatively plans to reopen on April 14, when students return from Easter break, according to a statement from Elizabeth Nixon, the school's associate director of communications and public relations.
As of March 11, there had been no cases of the respiratory disease, known as COVID-19, among school staff, faculty or students, she said.
"SHS (Sacred Heart Schools)'s foremost priority is the continued well-being of our community," she wrote. "This choice reflects that commitment to our 1,196 students ages 3-18, the 800-plus families we serve, our 329 employees, the faculty/staff infants in our care, and our 67 elderly RSCJ residents at the Oakwood retirement community on campus. With this temporary school closure, SHS aims to help stem virus transmission within our close-knit community and the surrounding region."
This happens just a day after three local Archdiocese of San Francisco schools announced they would close for two weeks due to the virus threat. The announcement followed the confirmation that a student at one of the archdiocese's San Francisco schools tested positive for COVID-19.
There were more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the virus as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had confirmed 15 cases of the virus in the county as of Wednesday morning, according to the San Mateo County health department's website. There have been 45 cases of the virus confirmed in nearby Santa Clara County as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the county's health department website.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.