In the face of increased infections of COVID-19 within the Big Country, the state of Texas, and the U.S. at large, one Abilene area school district has closed its high school campus because of a staggering absentee rate across students and staff.

On Tuesday, August 30, Winters Independent School District Superintendent Sean Leamon announced in a press release that the Winters High School campus will be closed from August 31 to September 6.

You can find the press release in a Facebook post from the Winters Police Department here.

The four days of closure mean that no remote or virtual learning will take place at Winters High School, and there will be no extracurricular and sports practices or games during the closure days. However, students enrolled in collegiate dual-credit courses will be expected to keep pace with their work online.

Winters High School reached a 20% absentee rate among teachers and students recently due to COVID-19 spread, and the district felt that closure provided the best opportunity for sick individuals to regain health and for thorough disinfection of facilities. Winters ISD hopes that this measure can prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff, which in turn would return some sense of normalcy and safety to the 2021-2022 school year. 

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At this time, no other Winters ISD campuses are expected to close. Winters ISD encourages students, staff, and the community to monitor their health closely and follow up-to-date CDC guidelines, which can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html

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