SEALY, Texas — A growing number of Texas school districts are canceling classes as COVID-19 cases continue to increase, including Sealy ISD.
Sealy school administrators called off classes for Friday, Jan. 14, and Tuesday, Jan. 18. Monday was already a scheduled holiday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Sealy ISD Superintendent Bryan Hallmark said the district, with a little over 2800 students and 400 staff, was hit hard by the recent surge in COVID cases.
“Obviously like everywhere else during the Christmas break, our cases started coming in,” Hallmark said. "Since we returned on Jan. 3, we had about 131 cases reported. Today, we have 93 active cases in the district 19 of those are staff.”
Tawana Sutton’s 8th-grade daughter, Zanriah, attends Sealy Junior High.
"It's getting pretty crazy all over again," Sutton said. "It's kind of scary it's going around so rapidly."
Zanirah said she’s seen the impacts firsthand,
"It's like a lot of substitutes now since people being out with covid,” she said.
Sealy administrators closed the district once before due to COVID-19 cases after the Labor Day holiday last year.
"We closed for five consecutive days, and it really helped us identify potential cases whether or not people were symptomatic and all of those things," Hallmark said. "You have to do what you have to do to prevent it."
Sealy is the latest in the state to cancel activities due to the virus.
In Grimes County, Iola ISD administrators have set an early-release day on Friday in order to "deep clean" facilities.
Back in Sealy, district officials said free rapid COVID-19 testing will still be available for students and staff on campus Friday and Tuesday.
They say deep cleaning on each building will also be done during the closure.
From our KHOU 11 News partners at The Texas Tribune: Omicron is surging, but most Texas schools are resuming classes as planned