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29 COVID-19 cases among Ripon USD students, employees

Ripon Unified school board put a plan in place Tuesday for the re-starting in-person learning in January.

When students return from the winter break on Jan. 5, those in small cohorts involving Special Education Services’ Tier 3 classes, Ripon High’s Career Technology Education and the Ripon After-school Program will be back at their respective school sites.

All others during that first week will return to Distance Learning before stepping foot on campus on Jan. 11.

The staff development day will still be on Jan. 4 but online via Zoom.

“It’s all about opening and staying open,” said Superintendent Ziggy Robeson, who continues to plea with families to do their part by maintaining safety protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 by keeping student home even if they’re experiencing a slight cold.

She also mentioned certain super spreader events that could possibly dampen those plans such as holiday get togethers along with a recent non-district related gathering that involved at least 50 students.

As of now, RUSD reported 29 cases during the past two weeks of students and staff testing positive for the coronavirus. Manteca Unified as of Friday had 50 confirmed cases among its 27,000 students and employees spread across 33 campuses. That includes 32 students and 18 staff members.

Ripon High returned to in-person learning on Nov. 30 only to go back to distance learning the following week when a student who tested positive for COVID reportedly impacted over 200 students and a half dozen teachers.

Student board member Gracie Jamie, who is a senior at RHS, mentioned at the monthly session the difficulty of containing high school students given the constant switching of classrooms and the need to socialize. “That will always be an issue,” she said.

RUSD officials have been passionate about returning students to in-person learning since the initial shutdowns in March. But in order to do so, they’ve emphasized the importance for everyone to continue following the recommendations from the state and county public health departments – masking up, sanitizing, washing hands, maintaining physical distance from anyone outside of your household, and staying home if feeling sick.

The district will continue to work closely with the San Joaquin County Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health Department for support and assistance.