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Two campuses in Lake Isabella shuttered by staffing shortages caused by COVID

Two campuses in Lake Isabella will be closed to in-person learning on Friday due to a staffing shortage caused by a COVID surge.

Wallace Elementary and Wallace Middle School will not open on Friday for in-person instruction, according to a message on Kernville Union School District's website. The preschool will also not open. The district asks parents to look for information from teachers sent through Parent Square. 

The third school in the district, Kernville Elementary, will remain open, according to the district.

Kern County Public Health Services was notified that these campuses would be closed for two weeks, according to spokeswoman Michelle Corson. The department has not been notified about any other campuses in the county shutting down.

These are the first campuses in Kern County to shut down this academic year. Last year many schools also shut down because of the winter surge and staffing issues.

Kern County Superintendent of Schools spokesman Robert Meszaros said COVID is having "a ripple effect" for local school administrators in an already tough year for staffing.

The number of staff available on a given day can be whittled down because of positive cases, close contacts in quarantine and staff with symptoms that may or may not be COVID.

"When you couple this dynamic with a staff and substitute shortage, it is really compounding things," Meszaros wrote in an email.

You can reach Emma Gallegos at 661-395-7394.