Students in the Mountain Valley Unified School District have temporarily shifted from in-person classrooms to distance learning this week as a precaution against community spread of the COVID-19 virus in Hayfork where a recent spike in cases has been reported by the Trinity County Public Health Department.

The distance learning program is in place for this week, Nov. 16 through Nov. 20, and school was already scheduled to be out next week for the Thanksgiving holiday. In-classroom learning is expected to return after that.

The Mountain Valley Unified School District that includes Hayfork Elementary and Hayfork High School was the first district in Trinity County to return to distance learning, but Trinity High School has also gone to full distance learning through Dec. 1.

After California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered that most counties in the region, including Trinity, enter the most restrictive “purple” tier for COVID-19 restrictions, Trinity County Supt. of Schools Sarah Supahan clarified that since Trinity schools have already been open to in-person instruction, they are allowed to remain open.

“At this time, there have been no cases of the coronavirus that have originated from schools,” she said. “Our schools are doing a great job of following health and safety precautions in order to keep students and staff safe.”

However, Trinity Alps Unified School District Supt. Jaime Green said there have been cases linked to the high school, so the decision was made Monday night to return 100 percent to distance learning there through Dec. 1. Weaverville Elementary and Alps View remain open to in-person instruction at this time.

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