Handling the COVID crisis – How does PUSD rate?


Mandy Wong

Signs posted around the school remind AV students to wear masks both indoors and outdoors.

Mandy Wong, AVT Editor-in-Chief

There were 56 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) in the month of August, per recent information published on August 27th.

“I don’t really watch the news so I don’t really know how steady the climb is for other schools. But, I’m kind of worried we might have to go back into at least online school because cases are rising,” said Gauri Chawla (‘25).

56 cases may seem high to some, but Pleasanton Unified is a larger district with 14,491 students. Though districts like Alameda Unified and Castro Valley Unified report 12 and 32 cases respectively, these districts both have around 9,500 students each.

“I have some family-friends in other districts [San Ramon and Dublin] and they say that their cases are pretty bad as well, but they don’t know anyone directly who’s gotten it,” said Chawla.

Data from districts’ COVID-19 dashboards (Mandy Wong)

Bay Area schools follow similar protocol for COVID-19 exposures. However, unlike some districts, like San Ramon and Dublin, PUSD sends out a daily health screener. Additionally, PUSD has stricter mask requirements.

“Within all classrooms at Granada masks are required. When you’re outside they’re highly encouraged, but they are not required,” said Granada High School student Will Taggart (‘22).

Granada High School is part of Livermore Valley Joint Unified. After school began on the week of August 24th, the school recorded a total of fifteen staff and student cases.

“I’m not sure compared to other districts but I feel like at our school there have been quite a few cases, so that’s kind of concerning….Last Thursday my math teacher actually called out sick, and then on Friday he sent us a message and said that he tested positive for COVID. He won’t be back until Tuesday,” said Taggart.

Many districts have established case trackers. Though case rates at schools themselves are low, overall infections among the general population have raised concerns. Many California counties have infection rates that would have kept schools closed in the spring.

“Everything that we do as a school and a district is set by Alameda County, which is aligned with the CDC,” said AV Vice Principal and COVID-19 liaison Melanie Harris. “It’s not the intention of the school, the district, or the state, to shut down. They want to keep schools open so that’s why we have a lot of protocols in place.”

Visit California Department of Public Health for more on state guidance for re-opening schools.