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West Texas churches and schools pause in-person gatherings

Staffing shortages and a rise in COVID-19 cases are causing closures in schools and churches.

OZONA, Texas — As COVID-19 cases increase in West Texas, schools and churches are pausing indoor gatherings.

Crockett County Consolidated Common School District Superintendent Raul Chavarria said approximately 20 percent of his district's staff is affected by illness. 

“Our maintenance and our custodial staff became affected and then we saw an uptick in our cafeteria staff. We decided at that point we couldn't feed the kids and that it was time to go ahead and dismiss school,” Chavarria said. 

He said after discussions with administration staff, they came to an agreement that pausing in-person classes was the best option. 

“Our nurses do a great job of keeping us posted on how many students and how many teachers are affected in the morning and in the afternoon. Our admin staff gets together and we decide whether it’s time or it’s not time,” Chavarria said. 

Chavarria said there has not been an increase in COVID-19 cases among students, only staff at this time. Classes in Ozona will resume in person Monday, Jan. 17. 

Churches in Ozona are also putting a pause on in-person gatherings. Pastor J.C. Cantu from New Beginnings Church said they will shut down in-person gatherings the same length of time the district remains closed. 

“Right now what we’ll do is shut down in-person services at the same time the district is shut down and we’ll go online so that's the good thing about technology nowadays that we can do services there,” Cantu said. 

New Beginnings Church will continue services online until further notice.

For updates, visit facebook.com/NewBeginningsOzona