The Connally Independent School District announced a change regarding mask requirements on Friday.
Connally ISD made the decision to close all campuses through Monday, Sept. 6 after two teachers died due to COVID-19. In a letter to students, staff, and families the school district said it will now be requiring face masks inside all school and district buildings.
"Students who do not have a mask readily available will be provided with one upon entering the building," said CISD.
The change is effective Tuesday, Sept. 7 as students and staff return from the Labor Day weekend, and district-wide closure.
"This closure is an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and is in line with recommendations from the McLennan County Health Department," said the district in an announcement Monday evening. "Our hope is that the closure and holiday break will provide those who are positive with the virus or exposed to others with the virus, the time to isolate and recover."
This week the school district hosted a two-day testing event, with 600 participants, which reported a 16.3 percent positivity rate.
Additionally, the district received the letter below from the Waco-McLennan County Health District which outlined the statistics of positive cases among McLennan County youth.
"Use whatever messaging you feel is best appropriate for your students to encourage their choice to wear face masks," said the letter, after a reported 24 percent of cases were reported among children.
The letter also stated that in 2020 schools were not a site of significant transmission and that this is due to previous social distancing, masking, and a stronger emphasis on quarantining.
"As educators, it is our duty to keep our students safe and healthy," said the letter signed by Superintendent Wesley Holt. "We feel instituting a mask mandate is a step towards doing this. The district is also encouraging staff and students over the age of 12 to get vaccinated."