All Sonoma County schools to remain closed through May 1 to help slow coronavirus

Every public school in Sonoma County will continue at-home instruction through May 1, meaning nearly 70,000 students will not return to classrooms for another month unless the public health risk associated with the coronavirus recedes.

Sonoma County Office of Education announced the decision Thursday, a day after the agency advised superintendents to extend the school closures because of the local outbreak of the coronavirus.

The remainder of the 40 school districts are now following the lead of Santa Rosa, Petaluma,Windsor and Sonoma, among others, who said Wednesday they’d extend the shutdown of campuses. Santa Rosa City Schools was the first to announce the delayed reopening of classrooms, citing a recommendation by Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s health officer.

Most area school districts were scheduled to resume classes April 7, when Sonoma County’s current stay home order was set to expire. But that was before Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the entire state to largely remain indoors until further notice.

The county education office and school district leaders are expected to convene mid-April to discuss a potential date to resume in-person classes, SCOE said. If the statewide order to stay home ends before April 30, districts will consider resuming classes earlier.

The decision by school district leaders forces 69,734 Sonoma County students to take classes from home for six weeks of the spring term, one of the most drastic local measures to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

You can reach Staff Writer Yousef Baig at 707-521-5390 or On Twitter @YousefBaig.

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