Tony Thurmond, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, has urged the last open school district in California to close its doors to prevent the coronavirus spread.

The superintendent of the Tulare County Office of Education, Tim Hire, also has recommended that the district shut down during the pandemic.

But Outside Creek School District, which consists of a single K-8 school for about 100 students in rural Visalia, is operating like it’s business as usual.

Never mind what Gov. Gavin Newsom or anyone else says about the need for social distancing and other efforts to flatten the coronavirus curve.

Superintendent: Students Rely on District for Learning, Safety, Meals

Outside Creek Superintendent Derrick Bravo told EdSource in an email that the majority of students at the school do not have access to the internet or computers at home. In addition, he said, “many families rely on the school for education, a safe environment, child care, and nutritious meals.”

Students have the option of independent study if families are concerned about sending them to school. But the campus is open for students and staff.

“I can’t reach the superintendent directly,” Thurmond said. “If I was talking to him now, I would urge them to close and heed what we have heard repeatedly from public officials and the governor’s orders. … we are dealing with a worldwide crisis, a pandemic. My urge is for them to close for the safety of the children and the community.”

Tulare County Has 18 Positive Tests

The public health department reported one more positive COVID-19 test Wednesday morning, bringing the county’s total to 18. One hundred-and-thirty-five residents are under self-quarantine.

Updates are available at the county’s coronavirus website.

Fresno County

Health officials said the county’s total was 19 positives on Wednesday afternoon. Of those cases, six are travel-related, two are person-to-person, and 11 are under investigation.

You can find the latest Fresno County coronavirus information at this link.

Kern County

Public health reports 16 positive COVID-19 tests. Officials say there have been 221 negative tests and the results of 341 tests are pending. Four returning travelers are undergoing monitoring.

The Kern County coronavirus page is at this link.

Kings County

There are no confirmed cases through Wednesday morning. The public health department has received 66 negative COVID-19 results. No one is being monitored.

The county asks anyone with coronavirus questions to call 559 584-1401 and press 6.

Kings County’s coronavirus page is at this link.

Madera County

There are six confirmed cases. One person who tested positive has recovered and is no longer in isolation.

Madera County coronavirus information is at this link.

Mariposa County

There are no confirmed cases in Mariposa County. Officials report 28 people tested with 15 negatives. The results of 13 people are pending.

The county’s latest coronavirus information is at this link.

Merced County

Public health officials confirmed a second case of coronavirus on Wednesday morning.

“The individual contracted the virus out of the county and was not community-acquired,” county public health said in a news release. The person is recovering at home while self-isolating.

This is the link to Merced County coronavirus updates.

Stanislaus County

The county now has 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases.  The latest coronavirus information is at this link.


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