Texas school system closes after 2 teachers die from COVID-19


WACO, Texas (AP) – A central Texas school district closed its schools until after the Labor Day vacation Tuesday after two teachers died last week from COVID-19.

Officials at Connally’s Independent School District closed its five suburban Waco schools for the remainder of the week after the COVID-19 death on Saturday of Natalia Chansler, 41, a sixth grade social science teacher at Connally Junior High School , said Deputy Superintendent Jill Bottelberghe.

Chansler’s death came days after David McCormick, 59, a seventh-year social studies professor at Connally Junior High, died of COVID-19, Bottelberghe said.

It was not immediately clear whether any of the teachers were vaccinated.

Connally high school football coach Terry Gerik said the cadets will play La Vega as scheduled on Friday night.

The school has had 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since classes began on August 18, Bottelberghe said on Monday. She added that more cases had been confirmed in the past few days, but she was unsure if any were directly attributed to Chansler.

“We found no correlation” between the two deaths, said Bottelberghe. “They were at two different grade levels even though they were working in the same content area, but we recognized that there was an increase in the spread throughout our student body at those two grade levels.”

In an email Monday, Superintendent Wesley Holt said the hope “is that the closure and the holidays will give those who test positive for the virus or are exposed to others with the virus time to isolate themselves. and to recover. This closure will also allow time to thoroughly clean and disinfect all of the CISD facilities. “

The seven-day moving average of new daily COVID-19 cases in Texas was 15,400 cases as of Sunday, according to data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The seven-day moving average of daily COVID-19 deaths in Texas was 200 per day.

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