Virus bringing city to a halt
Schools, busineses, churches closing for now
March 12, 2020
The risk of exposure to the coronavirus, or Covid-19, has closed the vast majority of schools, offices and businesses in town.
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary C. Barlow released a statement saying that they were following the recommendations of the Kern County Office of Public Health and are recommending the temporary closures of all county schools as officials continue to step up the fight against the spread of the disease.
This applies to all public schools, as well as charter schools and preschools, in Kern County.
Schools will remain open until Wednesday, March 18, but will be closed at least until April 13.
Restaurants in town are still open and operating normal business hours, as well as the gas stations, fast food places and the stores in downtown Shafter.
Several of the stores are seeing increased volume, with consumers looking to stock up on essentials.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also mandated that all nightclubs and bars will be temporarily closed as well. Churches in Shafter will also be closing their doors in line with the recommendations of the federal Center for Disease Control, which says to suspend any gathering of 50 people or more.
Rosie Medlock, whose husband, Justin, is pastor of Shafter Christian Fellowship, said that they would be suspending services until the mandate is lifted. "We had church on Sunday, when the recommendation was for 250 people or more. But, with it dropped to 50, we decided to follow them and stop services until it is safe to resume.
"We have a lot of elderly in our congregation, and we want to keep them safe and healthy." Medlock did say that Justin would be taping sermons on Youtube and giving their congregation the link to it so they can view them online.
That is also the case with the Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church, pastored by Pat Coyle. He said that they would be livestreaming the services until Easter. "We have quite a few people that livestream the services anyway because they are not able to attend. So, we will keep doing the livestreaming, just with nobody in the pews."
All of those contacted said that they thought it was in their congregation's best interest to keep them safe and healthy.