By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

Cases continue to rise; county at a standstill


Last updated 1/2/2021 at 7:36pm | View PDF

The covid-19 virus changed the landscape of education in the country in 2020 and the school districts are sticking to their previously stated positions.

There are now two new vaccines available by Pfizer and Moderna that have been approved by the FDA. The initial dose of the vaccine will be made to health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.

The positive numbers continue to rise in Wasco. On Dec. 18, the total number of cases was 1,217 which rose to 3,115 as of Dec. 22. The number of recovered patients on Dec. 18 was 732 and that number has increased slightly to 735 as of Dec. 22. The number of presumed recovered on Dec. 18 were 295 while that number has also increased to 599 recovered on Dec. 22.

The numbers in Shafter are also on the rise in the number of cases with 1,932 on Dec. 18 to an increase of 2,103 Dec. 22. There were 768 recovered on Dec. 18 and now there are 792 recovered. The number of presumed recovered on Dec. 18 was 472 and that has increased to 502 presumably recovered.

Distribution of the vaccine is supposed to be available to hospitals and medical facilities; however, Adventist Health in Wasco did not have it as of Dec. 22 nor does Vanguard have any of the vaccine. Vanguard stated that they had it on order, but haven’t received it yet.

While everyone is waiting for the vaccine, they are asked to please continue to wear your mask, practice social distancing and limit visits out of your home.


On Dec. 15, Superintendent of the Wasco Union Elementary School District Kelly Richers sent a memo to all faculty and staff at the district stating that the state has significant restrictions on where districts are allowed to reduce expenditures.

“If the situation is not changed, WUESD will be forced to lay off a number of teachers,” he said. “Early Tell” is a means to give retirees a financial incentive for early disclosure that they are planning on retiring in June.

Kelly also said that the incentive will allow the district to know at an early stage who will not be returning this coming school year “so the district would be able to reduce the number of notices of possible layoff, which will reduce anxiety among the certificated staff to some small extent.”

Richers said that, “the WUESD will remain closed during the third quarter. If we get some vaccines or the number of infections drop, we may bring back Special Education first. We must wait and see with 900-plus cases daily, nothing is happening for some time.”

Assistant Superintendent of the Wasco Union High School District Rob Cobb stated that nothing has changed for the district at the present time; however, there may be an update mid-January.


Glenn Goldis, chief medical officer for Kern Medical Center, stated on a local television station on Monday, Dec. 21 that there is a new strain of the virus appearing in the United Kingdom.

Goldis discussed the new strain of the virus, the plan for the vaccine rollout, which includes vaccinating two groups (ICU and hospitalizations) and concerns about another surge due to the holiday season.


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