HAYS COUNTY – Just two weeks into the 2021-2022 school year, local Hays CISD has announced high COVID-19 case numbers and classroom closures at schools throughout the district.
On August 31, Hays CISD Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright sent a letter to parents and faculty with updated information on COVID-19 and its effect on the district.
“Given that our COVID-positive case numbers are as high this week as the highest week of the entire last school year, I need you to wear a mask,” said Wright.
Hays CISD is not mandating masks but “highly encouraging” mask use on their campuses. According to Wright, the district does not have the legal authority or practical ability to require masks but is closely watching the courts and the legislature.
According to the Hays CISD COVID-19 Dashboard, as of August 30, there is 13 staff, and 121 students have tested positive for the coronavirus. Compared to the previous week, where there was a total of 56 confirmed cases, the number more than doubled.
“We have placed five classrooms districtwide on remote conferencing – two at Elm Grove Elementary School, one each at Buda and Negley Elementary Schools, and one special education classroom at Chapa Middle School,” Wright states in the letter.
On August 27, Hays CISD District 4 Trustee Meredith Keller posted on Facebook about the classroom closures and asked parents to mask up their children.
“Please just do it,” Keller wrote in the post. “Even if you don’t want to do it. Even if you think your chances are real good that you won’t die or that other people can mask if they are the scared ones or if it feels uncomfortable for a minute. Please mask up your kids.”
Due to the rapid increase in cases, the school district announced they would start reporting confirmed COVID-19 case numbers Monday through Friday, beginning on September 7.
Written by Sierra Martin