SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Officials with the San Francisco Unified School District announced Monday that Lowell High School would remain closed through Tuesday due to coronavirus concerns but will reopen on Wednesday.

SFUSD announced March 11 as the reopening date following an emergency closed door meeting Monday night.

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“We received a thorough briefing from the department of health,” said Gentle Blythe, an SFUSD spokesperson. “We know this is in our community and with increased testing, there will be more cases every day. We plan to release more details about our district plans before long.”

Earlier on Monday afternoon, the following message was posted on the SFUSD page concerning the Lowell High School closure:

“Lowell High School will remain closed Tuesday. SFUSD continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and we will provide you with an update on Tuesday afternoon. We know that closing school is disruptive and we appreciate your understanding.”



The school has been closed since Friday after it was determined that the parent of a student was one of the first two patients in San Francisco diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The school issued an email last Thursday afternoon to Lowell High School families regarding the possible exposure to the coronavirus via the student in question.

“Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety and well-being of our community, we have decided to close the school and all events and gatherings for the time being,” the message read. “The school will not be open on Friday and we will share an updated message before Monday.”

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On Sunday, a follow-up email to parents announced that the closure would be extended through Monday, saying “We have done and will continue to do enhanced cleaning to ensure the campus is clean before it reopens.”

“I understand it, but I think my concern is the ‘abundance of caution’ terminology they’re using,” said Tony Macdonald, a parent of two Lowell students. MacDonald said he hopes school officials are making their decisions based on the facts.

“I know the kids love having another day off but I think we really need to look and see what is really going on. We can’t shut down our lives for something we know is of concern and that we don’t know that it warrants that level of concern,” he said.

No other schools in the district have been affected by closure, but the SFUSD did cancel all non-essential events at all schools in the district through March 22 on Sunday.

Those events include assemblies, field trips, athletic and performance events (including practice), and other school/community meetings, for the next two weeks.

The school district said they may consider conducting assemblies via webcast or intercom announcements.

Meanwhile officials at the private Catholic school Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco announced Monday morning that the school would be closed through Sunday, March 22, as the school was given a deep cleaning after a student’s parents tested positive for the coronavirus.

ICA Cristo Rey, another private, all-girl Catholic school in San Francisco, is set to be closed through Thursday, March 19, after a custodial staff member at the school tested positive for COVID-19.

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