A Central Texas school district closed its schools until after the Labor Day holiday after two teachers died last week of COVID-19. Natalia Chansler, 41, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Connally Junior High School and David McCormick, 59, a seventh grade social studies teacher at Connally Junior High, died of COVID-19. It was not immediately known if either teacher was vaccinated. The school has had 51 confirmed COVID-19 cases since classes began Aug. 18. More cases had been confirmed in the last few days. In a Monday email, Superintendent Wesley Holt said the hope “is that the closure and holiday break will provide those who are positive with the virus or exposed to others with the virus, the time to isolate and recover.” Students will participate in remote learning according to TEA guidelines during this week. All after-school practices and activities will remain closed until students return to campus. All classrooms will undergo deep cleaning and sanitation.
“We know the hardship this may present to families, but we want to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our students and team,” said Connally ISD in a statement. The district will offer COVID-19 rapid testing for students, parents, and staff and host a free vaccination clinic on September 13th. The rolling seven-day average of daily COVID-19 deaths in Texas was 200 per day.