The Buena Vista school district announced in response to COVID-19 pandemic, it was closing all school facilities for 2 weeks via texts and emails early Friday afternoon.

In a letter emailed shortly after 12:30 p.m., Friday, district superintendent Lisa Yates wrote the following:

"Starting Monday, March 16, the Buena Vista school district will be closing all school facilities for a period of 14 days. This necessary action is an attempt to slow the spread of infection. The closure will be from March 16 through March 27, which includes our already scheduled Spring Break. We will reassess the situation as we get closer to that end date, and decide if students and staff should return on Monday, March 30. Superintendents will be calling on the Colorado Department of Education for flexibility on mandatory seat time and state testing requirements.

The decision to close our school district was extremely difficult, but it was made in consultation with public health officials. We know that closing our schools will have a significant impact on our families, but we also believe that strong, urgent action must be taken to prevent the spread of this disease and to protect lives.

We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis in our community. In our response to COVID-19, we must depend on the wisdom of our health experts and elected officials and make decisions that protect the health of students, staff and families in our community. In light of Governor Polis’ declaration of a state of emergency in Colorado and the rapidly growing number of confirmed cases in Colorado, we must take swift action to protect public health.

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.

We will send follow-up communications with additional information about access to education resources and new developments. From March 16-19 there will not be educational serviced provided. Please continue to check https://www.bvschools.org for updates.

Our goal is always to protect the safety, health and wellness of our students, staff, and families. Our strength as a community is our greatest asset. We can work together to protect each other and slow the progression of COVID-19.

We will continue to remain in contact with public health officials, elected leaders and neighboring school districts and keep you updated with new information as it becomes available. We thank you for your support and partnership in this effort," the letter signed by Yates concluded.

In addition, the school district announced Thursday it was canceling all out-of-state travel, including the bands' trip to Disneyland later this month. Hours later, Disney announced it was temporarily closing the California theme park.

Also on Thursday, the state activities association announced it was postponing all competition through at least April 6.

From our sister paper The Chaffee County Times at www.chaffeecountytimes.com.

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