Texas School District Closes After 2 Teachers Die of COVID-19 Within Days
The Connally Independent School District in Waco, Texas, has shut down all five schools through the Labor Day holiday after the death of two junior high teachers within the same week.
A Texas school district has closed its five schools after two teachers died of COVID-19 within the same week.
The Connally Independent School District in Waco, Texas, will remain closed through the Labor Day holiday Tuesday, The Associated Press reports.
The closure comes after the death of two junior high teachers within the span of a few days. Connally Junior High School sixth grade social studies teacher Natalia Chansler, 41, died Saturday, not long after Connally Junior High seventh grade social studies teacher David McCormick, 59, also died of COVID-19, according to Assistant Superintendent Jill Bottelberghe.
Bottelberghe did not say if either teacher had been vaccinated against COVID-19, and told AP that the district had "not found any correlation" between the two teachers' deaths.
"They were at two different grade levels even though they worked under the same content area, but we have recognized that there has been an increase in spread as far as throughout our student body at those two grade levels," Bottelberghe said.
Since classes in the district began Aug. 18, Connally Junior High has seen 51 confirmed COVID-19 cases. While more cases had been added to the count in the last few days, Bottelberghe could not confirm if they could be linked to Chansler.
Despite the district-wide shutdown, the Connally High School football team, the Cadets, will play La Vega as scheduled this Friday, coach Terry Gerik told AP.
Superintendent Wesley Holt said in a Monday email the district is hoping "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."
Holt added, "This closure will also allow time for deep cleaning and sanitizing of all CISD facilities."
Connally plans to resume in-person learning Sept. 7. According to local NBC affiliate KCENTV, The district is planning to host a vaccination clinic Sept. 13 at Connally High School, where shots will be offered to staff, parents and the Waco community.
Texas is currently experiencing a daily average of 16,629 COVID-19 cases and 212 deaths, according to The New York Times. Waco is one of the state's hot spots, with 209 average cases per day.
The state made headlines this summer for Gov. Greg Abbot's refusal to allow a mask mandate in schools. In July, the governor issued an executive order banning mask mandates in public school districts, which was later upheld by the state Supreme Court.
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This story originally appeared on people.com