Santa Clarita education, business settings exercise caution as COVID-19 cases are confirmed

A sign hangs on the door of the Newhall School District offices on Thursday. Shae Hammond / The Signal.

Newhall School District officials said Thursday they’re taking “an abundance of caution” after multiple COVID-19 diagnoses were linked to the district office, on the corner of Orchard Village Road and Wiley Canyon Road. 

The local elementary school district joins the junior high and high school district and The Master’s University, as well as a number of Santa Clarita Valley businesses, which have all had to deal with COVID-19 cases in recent weeks as local numbers continue to rise.

The office doors at the Newhall School District were locked Thursday afternoon, the calls forwarded, and Superintendent Jeff Pelzel said the district was taking precautions in light of the reported diagnoses. 

“After close consultation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and the district’s insurance and liability provider ASCIP, upon multiple district office employees testing positive for COVID-19 within approximately one week, the district office closed on Wednesday, Nov. 18, out of an abundance of caution,” Pelzel said in a prepared statement. “All district office employees have been provided the appropriate resources to work from home for uninterrupted  support of instruction and other work of our school sites.”

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely as we implement safety protocols at local school sites to keep students and employees safe,” Pelzel added. 

District officials said Thursday they couldn’t confirm the specific number of cases or even further identify the classification of the employees, citing legal concerns. 

In addition to the recent disclosure from the Newhall School District, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has reported six staff and eight students at TMU have contracted the disease. 

It’s unclear when the cases were reported. However, The Master’s University officials said on Thursday they were following health protocols established by local authorities. The Signal also previously reported at least one coronavirus case on a Williams S. Hart Union High School District campus, although district officials have also refused to divulge any additional information.   

Four other SCV businesses had at least a double-digit figure for the number of diagnoses: Marathon Truck Body Inc. in Newhall with 24 cases among their staff; Forrest Machining Inc. in Valencia with 21 cases; Bay Center Foods in Valencia with 14 cases; and 13 cases among the staff at Canyon Plastics, also located in Valencia. 

See for more information on the locations and data regarding COVID-19 outbreaks and reports of compliance issues.

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