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Medina ISD cancels classes until Sept. 7

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Medina Independent School District announced last Thursday that school is cancelled through September 7 with the exception of extracurricular activities, dual credit and online science classes.

According to an August 27 release from Superintendent Kevin Newsom, the decision was made because there is a staff shortage and not because of a COVID outbreak among students.

“Because key personnel were not present to provide for the instruction and day-to-day operation of the campus at the level our parents and community expects, we felt it necessary to close at this time,” Newsom said.

Medina ISD has 265 students registered from kindergarten to twelfth grade and has around 70 total staff members.

No remote learning will be offered during the closure, and the district will be disinfecting and cleaning facilities during the closure, according to Newsom.

“All extracurricular participants will be urged to wear masks so that Covid spread is low risk among team members and contact with opposing schools,” Newsom said in an August 26 release. “This is our safety protocol in order to try and keep those activities open without increasing the spread of COVID. If we do not get that participation, we will revisit the safety in these activities in order to be proactive in our fight against the COVID 19 Delta virus.”

Newsom said Friday that staff members and students who have tested positive for COVID-19 are “all doing well and quarantining in accordance with our COVID-19 Plan.”

“We do ask that you please keep all our members of our community here in Medina, as well across this county, in your thoughts and prayers,” he said.

County-wide, the number of active COVID-19 cases dropped to 52 as of Monday, down from last week’s count of 107, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

That case count reflects the statewide trend of active cases dropping while also matching Texas’ upward trend in hospitalizations and deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Peterson’s online COVID-19 dashboard says that there are 36 people hospitalized with COVID-19, up from last week’s count of 34. That number accounts for 32 percent of the hospital’s capacity.

Another death was reported in Bandera County last week, bringing the total to 36, according to DSHS.

Statewide, COVID-19 cases dropped 14 percent, while deaths are up 44 percent from last week, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at John Hopkins University.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 13,735 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals, an increase of six percent.

The all-time number of hospitalizations was 14,218, set last January.

DSHS reported only 325 available ICU beds statewide as of Sunday.