Editor’s Note: This story has been continuously edited since its publication as more schools make announcements.
TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Multiple East Texas school districts announced Monday morning that they would be extending their school closures, this time through at least May 1.
Eustace ISD went a step further on Tuesday announcing that they would be closing their doors indefinitely.
“At this time, we have not received word that Governor Abbott will extend the closure; however, I do not believe that we are in a position to even think about opening schools up again. With that, Eustace ISD will remain closed until further notice. I believe that this is the only decision possible to ensure that our students, staff, and community remain healthy.”Coy Holcombe Superintendent Eustace ISD
School districts that made an announcement as of this writing include:
- Central Heights ISD (through at least April 17)
- Daingerfield ISD
- Eustace ISD
- Hughes Springs ISD
- Paul Pewitt ISD
- Tyler ISD (through at least April 10)
- Wooden ISD (through at least April 17)
Many schools had also posted that they would be making a decision in the next couple of days.
This new development comes one day after President Trump recommended that social distancing restrictions be extended to May 1 after initially hoping to be back by Easter.
Gov. Greg Abbott penned an executive order two weeks ago that put into law many of the Centers for Disease Control recommendations, including:
- Bans on groups of people larger than 10
- Closure of all schools and gyms
- Bars and restaurants suspend in-house service
- Hospital and nursing home visits prohibited unless providing care
That order is set to expire Friday night, however, it is likely that Abbott will extend it. His office has not released new information concerning the declaration since Trump’s announcement.
As of this writing, East Texas has 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the area, with half being in Smith County. On Monday, Upshur County confirmed their second case.
Here is the most updated tally kept by KETK News:
- Smith County – 32, 1 death
- Van Zandt County – 2, 1 death
- Gregg County – 5
- Angelina County – 3
- Rusk County – 3
- Bowie County – 3
- Shelby County – 2
- Cherokee County – 2
- Nacogdoches County – 2
- Cass County – 2
- Upshur County – 2
- Morris County – 1
- Hopkins County – 1
- Upshur County – 1
- Harrison County – 1
- Franklin County – 1
- Henderson County – 1
- Polk County – 1
This is a developing story and KETK News will update it as more school districts announce closures.