Mono County Health Officer Orders Temporary Closure of In-Person Instruction, Indoor Activities in MUSD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mono County Health Officer Orders the Temporary Closure of In-Person Instruction and Indoor Activities Within Mammoth Unified School District Schools

Increase in COVID-19 Cases Results in Lack of Staffing to Support In-Classroom Instruction

Mammoth School DistrictJANUARY 08, 2022 – Effective Monday, January 10th, 2022, Dr. Caryn K. Slack, Mono County Local Health Officer, has ordered the temporary closure of in-person instruction and indoor activities within the Mammoth Unified School District’s (MUSD) Mammoth High School, Mammoth Middle School, Mammoth Elementary School, Sierra High School, Husky Club, Mono County Office of Education’s Inclusive Preschool on the campus of Mammoth Elementary School, and Inyo-Mono Advocates for Community Action Mammoth Head Start Preschool.

This closure is in response to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases, and the resulting impacts on staffing and resources upon local schools.

MUSD facilities will be closed for in-person instruction and indoor activities beginning at 12:01 am on Monday, January 10, 2022, and may re-open for in-person instruction and indoor activities as of 11:59 pm on January 28, 2022. This order does not apply to school-related activities that are conducted outdoors.Mammoth Lakes Sign

“This Order is intended to reduce the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 in the schools, thereby slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the community and throughout the county,” stated Dr. Slack. “We are experiencing an unprecedented number of cases in Mono County, and with the high volume of students and staff who have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19, and the lack of staff now available to ensure compliance with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) protocol for safe schools, including the testing and monitoring of individuals under modified quarantine, make it unsafe for the school to remain open at this time.”

CDPH issued Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California for the 2021-22 school year, on the foundational principle that all students must have access to safe and full in-person instruction and to as much instructional time as possible. At present, approximately 23% of students and 19% of staff are unable to be physically present within the MUSD schools due to illness or quarantine.

Covid-19 TestThis drastic shortage of staff restricts the ability of MUSD to ensure compliance with CDPH guidelines. Mono County and MUSD consulted with the CDPH on this closure.

For those who need to test, both OptumServe and Mono County Public Health provide COVID-19 testing clinics in Mono County (pending weather-related issues). OptumServe offers testing most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 am-7 pm in Mammoth Lakes.

Mono County Public Health offers testing in other locations throughout the county at various times throughout the week. While both OptumServe and Mono County Public Health accept walk-ins at their COVID-19 testing clinics, pre-registration is strongly encouraged as walk-ins will only be accommodated pending resource availability. Mono County Public Health will be adding pop-up testing clinics as additional resources become available.

The COVID-19 testing schedule for January can be accessed here.

The full Public Health order can be accessed here. PHO – Mammoth School Closure – signed(1)

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