DEL VALLE, Texas - Instead of binge-watching TV or gaming online, the Castaneda family spent their Monday afternoon outdoors, kicking around a soccer ball.
"We like sports and being outside, it's better than just staring at your phone the whole time," said Erick Castaneda.
Making the best of a tough situation, the boys didn't appear phased by the crisis surrounding COVID-19. Castaneda's younger brother Uriel said he does his part, washes his hands and stays at home. Del Valle ISD canceled classes until April 2nd when the district measures public health officials' recommendations for schools. As of Tuesday social distancing limitations prevent more than 10 people gathering in one place.
Public school districts across Central Texas have set up meal distribution sites to make sure students do not go hungry for breakfast or lunch.
While the kids adapt to the ever-changing pandemic, teachers have moved their classrooms online and are providing students with study materials in the meantime. Erick said some classes are either than others to navigate from home. "We are starting to study because we are getting our packets from school so now we are having to do homework over the break," he said.
Two weeks at home can feel like a lifetime for a 10-year-old. Uriel said he doesn't miss the school work as much as he misses the people.
"I really miss my friends, I'm bored, I miss my teachers," said Uriel.
To Uriel's surprise, in rolled his teachers. About a dozen teachers and staff lined up outside Creedmoor Elementary School, escorted by first responders, and paraded around their student's neighborhoods. Many honked with joy, waving and carrying signs reading, 'the extrano', we miss you, all in an effort to cheer up their homebound kids.
"It makes me feel nice," said Erick. "Their school has always been very active in the community."
Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a public health disaster, the first in Texas since 1901. The executive orders, which take effect at midnight Friday, March 20 and go through midnight on Friday, April 3, will bring the state in line with CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The public health disaster orders schools to be closed statewide until at least April 3. The disaster also orders a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus. Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars. It also bans visits to nursing and retirement homes unless there is a critical need.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 1 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.