LOCKHART, Texas (KXAN) – A Texas school district says 781 of its students are currently in quarantine following a recent increase in COVID-19 in the community.
The district has 204 active cases, 181 of which are students.
Lockhart Independent School District, located in central Texas, has closed four classes and a student program because 20% or more of students were diagnosed with coronavirus. More closures are expected.
The Texas Tribune reports that at least 45 small Texas school districts have been forced to temporarily stop face-to-face classes due to the spread of COVID-19.
In the Leander Independent School District in North Austin, two middle schools were closed for two weeks after more than 400 cases were confirmed in the school community. Since the start of classes, Leander ISD has recorded more than 840 positive cases.
Still, Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask warrants in public schools remains firmly in place. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has threatened lawsuits against districts that do impose their own mandates.
Recent surveys conducted by the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin found that 56% of Texans supported students and public school staff to mask themselves on campus. Forty-seven percent of the polls strongly support him. Democrats were more likely to support masking in schools than Republicans.
Newsweek reports that at least 1,247 districts in Texas have implemented their own mask mandates, including the largest districts in the state: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Northeast (located in San Antonio) and Houston.
The feeling of a polarizing mask forced even Northside Elementary, located northwest of San Antonio, to call on police security to protect the campus from anti-mask protesters. Recent incidents at the school included a student being shouted at by protesters to have his mask removed.
In August, the Eanes Independent School District in Austin reported that a parent ripped a teacher off her face by covering her face. Another instructor was reportedly called because several parents said they could not hear the mask.
Meanwhile, school dropouts are estimated to have already affected some 42,000 Texas students.
As the struggle for masking in schools continues, so does the severity of COVID-19 cases in children and adolescents. The situation has become increasingly serious as the delta variant (now the dominant strain in the entire United States) is more aggressive with children than previous variants. Several Texas hospitals have reported that pediatric admissions have increased.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that hospitalization rates and hospitalization of children / adolescents increased significantly in August. According to the data, states with lower vaccination rates were four times more likely to have more young people in hospitals for COVID-19.
Currently, only children 12 years of age or older are eligible for vaccination.