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Manteca Unified spends $17 million due to COVID-19
Converting drinking fountains to refillable water stations along with hand washing stations was part of the COVID-19 expenditures.

Manteca Unified has invested close to $17 million in its bid to assure the health of students and staff returning to the campus in the midst of the worst public health emergency in 101 years.

And with four days left before the first students return to classrooms for the first time since mid-March when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered shutdowns to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, school custodians are in the process of putting finishing touches such as hallway and sidewalk decals in place.

The San Joaquin County Public Health Department and Keenan — the district’s insurance and risk management firm — have both signed off on reopening protocols tailored for the specific nuances of each of the district’s 33 school campuses.

The $17 million reflects costs occurred to guard against the spread of the coronavirus as well as to adapt education programs to work under pandemic rules.

That includes personal protective equipment (PPE), changing out drinking fountains to water bottle refilling and wash stations, portable hand sanitizing stations, Plexiglas, training, software for daily student self-screening, and various campus modifications to assure social distancing including the relocation of some portables.

It also covers additional classroom materials to eliminate the need for students to share common use items and books. The district has also had to acquire additional computers for teachers in order to make distance learning effective to augment what devices they already had.

The COVID-19 expenditures to date are just under $650 per person for the 24,000 students and 2,000 staff members in the district.

In-classroom learning starts Monday for transitional kindergarten through third graders as well as high school juniors and seniors.

The district plans to bring fourth through 10th graders back on campus beginning Nov. 16.

TK through sixth graders are being split into AM and PM sessions to cap in-person learning class sizes to 15. They will attend school five days a week. Seventh through 12th grade classes will be divided in half with one group on campus Mondays and Thursdays and the other group on Tuesdays and Fridays. The days they are not on campus students are distance learning. All 7th through 12th graders will distance learn on Wednesdays.

Current San Joaquin

COVID-19 data

Pursuant to the State’s Blueprint for reopening and current COVID-19 data, San Joaquin County is you can help the County move into a less restrictive tier by following the Health Orders and guidelines, wearing a mask when in public, washing your hands regularly, practicing physical distancing, getting tested, and limiting mixing with people outside your household. Free testing is still available at many locations in San Joaquin County besides the HR Support sites mentioned previously. To find testing locations or to schedule appointments, utilize the links at

Postings on the San Joaquin County COVID-19 dashboard on Wednesday at 1:08 p.m. show 883 persons with active cases of COVID-19 out of 776,000 San Joaquin County residents are currently positive with the virus although they are not necessarily sick. That is the number once you subtract the 20,613 people that health officials have determined to have recovered from the 21,988 cases since March

Many of the recovered may never have been ill. The same goes for a large number of those now with active COVID-19 designation. The mask order and social distancing is designed to protect people from those who may not know they are carrying the virus and who may never show symptoms.

There were 25 new cases received on Wednesday.

There have been 492 deaths in San Joaquin County.  

There were 29 COVID-19 patients countywide as of Wednesday with 7 using ICU beds.

There were five COVID-19 patients at Doctors Hospital of Manteca with two in ICU and six COVID patients with one in ICU at Kaiser Manteca Hospital.


Testing in Manteca & Lathrop

The test site in Manteca is at the Transit Center at 220 Moffat Boulevard. The Lathrop test site is at the Generations Center at 450 Spartan Avenue. The free drive-thru COVID-19 testing Monday through Friday is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. until a date when the demand for testing drops off.

HR Support also offers testing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at West Valley Mall in Tracy as well as 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the San Joaquin County Fairground in Stockton.

 You can go to to sign up for time slots at any of the locations. They have the ability to test a maximum of 30 people during an hour.

For more information click on to



To contact Dennis Wyatt, email