Wharton ISD schools closed Tuesday due to increased student and staff cases of COVID-19 and the flu, and will continue classes online for the remainder of this week. El Campo and Louise schools are monitoring campus COVID-19 cases closely, but currently have no plans to close, district leaders say.

“In an abundance of caution, I have decided to switch all district campuses to remote learning effective today,” WISD Superintendent Michael O’Guin said via a press release Tuesday.

Local schools will close next week for Thanksgiving break, but WISD is the only district in the area choosing remainder of this week.

WISD will conduct classes remotely through Nov. 29, but extracurricular activities, including athletics, will be allowed to continue through the closure so long as state COVID-19 guidelines are followed.

So far during the 2020-2021 school year, WISD schools have reported no student COVID-19 cases, but 13 staff cases, as of Nov. 8, according to the Department of State Health Services.

Three Louise ISD faculty members and one student have tested positive for COVID-19 this month, district leaders confirmed, with one more faculty member waiting on test results.

The first LISD faculty case of the 2020-2021 school year was confirmed on Wednesday, Nov. 4, and the individual  self-quarantined until Nov. 13. Two other faculty members have been confirmed to have tested positive since then and will be quarantining until Nov. 12 and Nov. 18.

Two other LISD students tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the school year, as of Nov. 8, according to DSHS. This week’s DSHS data, released Thursday afternoon, has not yet been updated to include all of LISD’s faculty COVID-19 cases.

Since the start of the school year, ECISD has reported 26 positive student cases and nine staff cases. The highest number of ECISD cases has been reported for the seventh through 12th grade student category, at 14 student cases, as of Nov. 8. About 2,500 students are currently attending school in-person at ECISD, according to DSHS, while about 1,100 remain enrolled in online learning due to the pandemic.

All LISD students are currently attending school in-person after the district elected to cancel remote education at the end of September.

LISD’s total student enrollment is 487, according to DSHS, while ECISD has 3,629 total students and WISD has 1,885.

DSHS releases weekly reports for COVID-19 cases in Texas public schools every Thursday afternoon at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/schools/texas-education-agency.

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