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Claremont gatherings, events close, sermons go online; here's a list

By Matthew Bramlett | news@claremont-courier.com

Claremont is slowly shutting down, as schools, events and public gatherings close to allow people to hunker down due to coronavirus fears.

The Claremont Unified School District has closed all school sites until Monday, April 13. More details on that are available at this link:

https://www.claremont-courier.com/articles/news/t36149-cusd-closes-coronavirus

The Webb Schools closed its campus and suspended in-person classes on Thursday afternoon, according to an email from Joe Woodward, the school’s spokesperson.

Online classes will begin on March 20 and continue through April 13. The school is “immediately beginning to support students returning to their families,” the school said.

The school will re-assess regarding a possible campus return in late April.

“Webb remains staffed and ready to support the needs of all students in dormitories and faculty homes as necessary,” the school said.

Foothill Country Day School will also move to a distance learning program beginning on Monday, March 16 and lasting until April 6, according to Anne Henry, the school's director of enrichment program and marketing coordinator.

Students will log into the school's website to receive instruction for the day, and teachers will post YouTube videos so students "can see a familiar face on YouTube" reading a book or conducting science experiments. The school anticipates 50 of these YouTube videos will be posted throughout the week, Ms. Henry said. Older students who already depend on Google Classroom for instruction will continue to do so, she added.

After April 6, the school will convene to see if an extension is needed.

The City of Claremont has cancelled the Arbor Day celebration and Spring Egg Hunt. Also, the Joslyn and Blaisdell Senior Center lunch programs will now offer boxed lunches, rather than offering dining hall meals. For information on city programs, see the city's coronavirus webpage: 

https://www.ci.claremont.ca.us/living/coronavirus-information

The Claremont COURIER office will be closed to the public until March 30. Staff is still working and readers can expect regular online updates, as well as a Friday print edition.

The Claremont Chamber of Commerce is also canceling all events and community meetings through April 3 in response to the virus, according to a statement from Executive Director Randy Lopez. The chamber will automatically issue refunds on any registrations for the upcoming Women in Business Luncheon, and events in April will be decided at a later time “as we follow the developments on this crisis”

The chamber office will remain open to serve the business community.

“Now, more than ever, it’s important to support our local businesses, service providers and organizations,” Mr. Lopez said.

The Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market, a weekly staple of Village life, will be closing down from March 15 to April 5, according to a statement posted to Facebook Thursday evening. The market is hoping to return by April 12.

The 2020 Claremont Pie Festival, scheduled to begin later this month, has also been canceled due to coronavirus risk. The Claremont Village Marketing Group announced the cancellation on March 12.

The California Botanic Garden, formerly known as the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, has postponed all public programming throughout March, according to a release sent on Friday, including the ribbon cutting on March 25 and the rebranding celebration on March 28.

"As of now, our garden remains open to provide our community with a beautiful outdoor space for relaxation and peace in this trying time," according to the statement from the Botanic Garden.

The Claremont United Church of Christ will move to online worship in an effort to limit possible transmission of the virus, according to a statement from co-pastors Jacob Buchholz and Jen Strickland.

Claremont United Methodist Church will also be moving to online sermons this Sunday, according to a message from Rev. Karen Clark Ristine.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will be holding online sermons as well for at least two weeks, but that may likely change in the future, according to Pastor Lara Martin.

The Pomona College Museum of Art announced the early closure of their exhibit “Todd Gray: Euclidean Gris Gris” on March 18 as a precaution, according to an email from the museum.

The Claremont Colleges undergraduate universities—Pomona, Pitzer, Scripps, Harvey Mudd and Claremont McKenna—have cancelled all in-person classes and students were asked to return home.

But not everything is closing down in Claremont.

The Claremont Helen Renwick Library will remain open during regular hours, but all public programming has been canceled through March 31, according to a statement from the LA County Library. Toys in the children’s area will be removed to protect children and families.

Claremont Heritage will still remain in operation, but visits to the Garner House will be by appointment only starting Monday, March 16, according to a statement posted on Friday.

The Candlelight Pavilion announced Thursday in a statement that due to Governor Gavin Newsom’s public gathering ban of 250 people or more, the show must go on, albeit with some caution.

“We are, however, approaching this situation with an abundance of caution and are limiting each audience to a maximum of 175 guests,” the statement from Candlelight continued. “We have moved each main floor table to a 6-foot clearance and are working to keep parties at each table private when possible.”

The Claremont Laemmle theater will remain open, but the theater is taking extra precautions. They will be regularly disinfecting and sanitizing restrooms, concession stands, auditoriums and commonly touched surfaces, ensuring frequent handwashing for employees, and practicing social distancing by limiting seating capacity to no more than 50 percent of auditorium size, according to a statement posted Friday.

"If governing authorities require that we go to a stricter quarantine, we will of course comply," Laemmle stated. "But until then, we hope to preserve some semblance of normalcy by staying open and providing quality entertainment for people who want to get out of the house and escape for a few hours."

There will be more developments in the coming days, and information posted here may change as news progresses. Check back with the COURIER for more information on cancellations due to the coronavirus.

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