One day after Houston ISD started in-person instruction, Waltrip High School was among its campuses to temporarily close because of COVID-19.
HISD, which welcomed students to campuses on Monday after starting the school year with six weeks of remote online learning, announced Tuesday that 17 schools had temporarily closed because of confirmed or presumed COVID-19 cases on their campuses. Waltrip, located at 1900 W. 34th St., was listed among 11 schools with presumed cases that would transition back to virtual learning.
“As outlined in the HISD Communicable Disease Plan, the campuses will be deep-cleaned and disinfected during the closure,” HISD said in a news release. “Parents will be notified when the schools have been cleared to reopen.”
It is unclear how many COVID-19 cases were identified at Waltrip before the closure, or whether they were among students or staff, because on Tuesday the school was not listed as having any confirmed cases on HISD’s COVID-19 dashboard at houstonisd.org/covid19dashboard. The HISD Press Office did not answer emailed questions about the number of cases required for a campus to close or about the circumstances at Waltrip.
Late Wednesday night, HISD announced the closed campuses would reopen Thursday for in-person instruction. The district also said it would no longer close campuses with one confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19, instead isolating or removing the infected person from campus and then cleaning and disinfecting overnight.
“Learning will continue as normal (the next day) with students and staff remaining in their assigned classrooms throughout the day to limit movement and contacts,” HISD said.
The district said it will close campuses with two or more confirmed cases and shift to virtual learning until the school is cleared to reopen.
According to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, there were two cases among staff and one among students at Heights High School as of Thursday as well as two staff cases at Stevens Elementary and one staff case at Garden Oaks Montessori Magnet. District-wide, HISD had 104 confirmed cases, including 17 among students.