Texas School District Mandates Masks After Nearly 800 Students Quarantined

By Bill Galluccio

September 8, 2021

Elementary student wearing protective face mask and disinfecting her hands in the classroom.
Photo: Getty Images

A school district in Texas is requiring staff and students to wear masks in defiance of Governor Gregg Abbot's ban on mask mandates. The decision was made after 781 students at Lockhart Independent School District were forced to quarantine after coming into close contact with somebody who was diagnosed with COVID-19.

District officials said there have been 204 cases of COVID-19 and that a majority of them are in students. Superintendent Mark Estrada said that four classes and a student program were closed after 20% of the students tested positive. He expects more classes to be canceled in the coming weeks.

"We expect there will be a need to close more classes in the coming weeks, and if any campus should reach 10% or more of students campus-wide who are diagnosed with COVID-19, the district may need to begin closing campuses as well, transitioning students to online learning during the temporary campus closure," the district said in a statement.

Students who are quarantined will be still be expected to attend virtual classes.

The Lockhart Independent School District isn't the only district in Texas that is dealing with the surge of COVID cases. The Texas Education Agency said that four dozen school districts in the state have been forced to cancel in-person classes and return to virtual learning due to COVID-19.

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