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Axtell ISD closes due to COVID, Waco and Gatesville ISD report latest

Empty classroom covid-19
Posted at 10:17 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 23:32:20-04

Central Texas schools are continuing to report a rise in COVID-19 cases among students, with Axtell Independent School District being the latest to close its doors in an effort to slow the spread.

Axtell ISD announced Tuesday, that the school district will be closing for a four-day break on Friday.

"As many of you may be aware, we are experiencing the highest surge of Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began here in Axtell ISD," said Dr. JR Proctor, superintendent. "However, at this point, I think that inserting a break where we can be away from each other for a little while would be beneficial for everyone."

The district said all after-school activities will halt until Tuesday, Sept. 7, which includes the scheduled JV football game for Friday.

"I would urge you this weekend to exercise as much caution as possible when surrounding yourself with people whose health status is in question," said Axtell ISD. "I would also urge you to be very careful hanging around with anyone that says they have allergies or a sinus infection, due to the fact that an overwhelming majority of our positive cases have begun with similar symptoms."

Officials from the Gatesville Independent School District reached out in an email to parents, reporting 102 active COVID-19 positive cases among students and staff. The district said the board discussed the topic of masks in a meeting Monday night.

Gatesville ISD said the Delta Variant is impacting its youngest students in addition to young adults, and that many students and staff are quarantined with other illnesses as well.

"COVID testing at Coryell Health is at record numbers, while they are also seeing record numbers of COVID-related patients," said the school district in the email. "Dr. Diedra Wuenschel, our local health authority, has asked for the school and community's help in combating the virus."

The school district said it decided to "strongly recommend" and not mandate masks for students, staff, and visitors. This decision is for the month of September and
may be re-evaluated at the end of the month.

In an update to parents, Waco ISD reported its latest positive cases for COVID-19 on Monday as the school district began mandating masks starting this week.

"Whenever we are notified that someone has tested positive for COVID-19, our health services team investigates to determine whether or not anyone might have been in close contact with the person who tested positive during the time when that person may have been infectious," said Waco ISD.

In the Monday COVID-19 Update, positive cases were reported on many Waco ISD campuses, including 11 at Indian Spring Middle/G.W. Carver Middle school and 10 at Lake Air Montessori.

Central Texas is not alone, districts in East Texas are closing their doors until Sept. 7 due to COVID-19 as well; taking the time to deep clean classrooms. Wells ISD is extending its initial closure to Sept. 7 due to the number of students and staff members who have COVID-19.

"It is with a heavy heart that I announce an extension to our closure," said Wells ISD, a Cherokee County school district. "We had truly hoped that 5 days away would clear up any “normal” back-to-school illnesses, but it has not."