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West Texas school districts canceling classes, athletic and extra-curricular events because of COVID case increases

Multiple school campuses have been closed after rises in COVID positivity rates among staff and students.

TEXAS, USA — Last week, Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District canceled classes and athletic events because of a high number of positive COVID-19 cases, not only in the schools, but across the small community with the population of just more than 1,200 people.

Then came Miles Elementary School, which on Aug. 21, the Miles ISD announced would close for five days for the safety of its students and staff. On Aug. 27, the MISD said the campus would reopen Aug. 30. Two days later, the decision was made to extend the closure through Wednesday, Sept. 1.

On Aug. 30, the Winters ISD issued a statement saying the upswing in positive cases at Winters High School, the campus will be closed from Aug. 31-Sept. 6. Extra-curricular activities and athletic events in that time frame were canceled as well.

Tuesday, Baird ISD said in a press release, "Due to a sharp increase in the number of COVID-related absences among our students and employees this week, all Baird ISD campuses will be closed for the remainder of the week, beginning on Wednesday, September 1st.  Classes will resume on Thursday, September 9th with buses running at normal times."

Activities such as games and practices are suspended until Sept. 1 in Baird, as well.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Abilene ISD issued a statement regarding the closure of an Austin Elementary School third-grade classroom because of four positive COVID-19 cases in the room. 

“We know that classroom quarantines may unfortunately be a necessary part of our response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and we have procedures in place to ensure educational continuity for our students. Throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic we have sought the advice of local health professionals and we are following Taylor County Health Department recommendations today by quarantining this classroom. We agree with the guidance from those professionals that this is a necessary step to protect the health and safety of the entire Austin community. We know that this unfortunate situation may create difficulties for the families of the students affected by the closure, and we stand ready to help them through this quarantine period. We look forward to their return to the campus in two weeks,” AISD Superintendent Dr. David Young said in a press release from the district.

RELATED: Iraan-Sheffield ISD shuts down for 2 weeks because of COVID-19