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Texas school district closes all campuses for week after 2 teachers die of COVID-19

Empty classroom covid-19
Posted at 10:04 AM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 10:10:30-04

A school district in central Texas is closing all of its campuses for a week following the deaths of two teachers from COVID-19.

The Connally Independent School District in Waco made the decision to close all campuses through Monday, Sept. 6.

Both teachers who passed away worked at Connally Junior High School. A 6th-grade social studies teacher named Natalia Chansler lost her life to COVID-19 on Saturday, just days after being on campus. Four days earlier, a 7th-grade social studies teacher named David McCormick died as a result of the coronavirus.

The district closure will give way to deep cleaning and sanitation of classrooms on all campuses. Parents and guardians will be receiving additional information about remote conferencing and attendance to keep learning in progress through the district's 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."

Connally High School will still carry on with its scheduled Friday night football game against La Vega, according to Head Football Coach Terry Gerik.

The district is additionally organizing COVID-19 testing for students and staff, and asks parents to report any child who tests positive to their campus nurse.

"During this school closure, we hope that everyone’s focus will be on preventing the spread of this virus," said CISD. "Again, the situation is being closely monitored and we will keep you apprised of any changes."

According to CISD, free breakfast and lunch meals will continue to be offered to all students and will be distributed from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in front of each campus. The district will also be hosting a vaccination clinic from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 13 at the Connally High School gymnasium.

At this time, in-person learning will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

This story was originally published by Khadeeja Umana at KXXV.