At least four school districts in Texas have already closed campuses due to COVID-19 outbreaks as the new school year begins and mask rules are disputed in several state courts.
The closures are occurring as more school districts and localities continue to defy Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates and demand students and citizens to wear facial coverings this week. Abbott’s office confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Abbott, who had been immunized, had no symptoms.
The school district in Gorman, about 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) east of Abilene, had planned to start the new school year on Wednesday but has now pushed it back by a week “due to positive COVID cases within the school community of both faculty and students,” Superintendent Mike Winter said in a statement.
Winter said that “This decision was not made lightly or quickly, and it was made with the best interest of all students, staff, and parents’ safety in mind,”
This week, the Bloomberg school district in East Texas stated that it would be closed “due to the number of staff workers out with COVID.” Classes have begun on August 9th.
The Waskom school district’s elementary campus was closed around 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) south of Bloomberg due to a “lot of staff members out with COVID,” according to Superintendent Rae Ann Patty. Classes in Waskom had begun on August 11.