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Texas school districts close campuses as teachers and students test positive for COVID

These smaller districts, located in rural areas, encourage mask wearing but do not have mask mandates.

Multiple Texas school districts have already closed campuses due to COVID-19 outbreaks, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The shutdowns are taking place as more school districts and communities continue to defy Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates and require students and staff wear face coverings.

But masks were not required in any of the following smaller, rural districts with closures as they followed the governor's ban.

Districts with closures as of Tuesday

The school district in Gorman, located about 70 miles east of Abilene, had been set to begin the new school year on Wednesday but is now delaying that by a week “due to positive COVID cases within the school community of both faculty and students,” Superintendent Mike Winter said in a statement.

In East Texas, the Bloomburg school district announced it was shut down this week “due to the number of staff members out with COVID.” Classes had started on Aug. 9.

About 60 miles south of Bloomburg, the Waskom school district’s elementary campus was closed due to the “number of staff members out with COVID,” said Superintendent Rae Ann Patty. Classes in Waskom had started Aug. 11.

These school districts join the Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District in West Texas, which on Monday announced it would close schools for two weeks so students and staff could quarantine due to COVID-19. Classes had started on Aug. 10.

WFAA reported a pre-K program in the Keene Independent School District will remain closed until Thursday, after six people - two high school students, two elementary students and two elementary school teachers - tested positive. The elementary, middle and high schools will remain open.

Morgan Mill Independent School District officials also told WFAA they would be closed this week due to COVID-19.

At least 21 Texas school districts, including some of the state’s biggest, have instituted mask mandates, which are in violation of Abbott’s executive order banning such measures.

Also watch: Why districts don't require COVID vaccines for students

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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