GIDDINGS, Texas - Lee County schools will be closing all instructional facilities in support of slowing the spread of COVID-19.
In a joint press release, Lee County, City of Giddings, City of Lexington, Giddings ISD, Lexington ISD, Dime Box ISD, Immanuel Lutheran School, and St. Paul Serbin School announced the closures, saying that instruction will move to home-based or remote instruction beginning Monday, March 23 and will continue indefinitely.
"Our local officials report that cases are continuing to spread in the state, and an increase in confirmed cases in our county seems likely," the release said. "Closing facilities indefinitely will allow us to monitor local conditions and make decisions accordingly."
The release says that if facilities are reopened, each district and school will provide a minimum of 72 hours notice.
They are also requesting the community take the following precautions to prevent the spread of the illness:
- Don't shake hands
- Wash hands regularly
- Limit movement within the community, especially avoiding crowded places and maintaining 3 to 6 ft of distance between people
- If you are moving around in the community, don't congregate in large groups
- For those who have traveled to areas with known COVID-19 cases - both inside and outside of the country - self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms
- If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider for medical advice
- Do not leave the house if you are ill, except to access medical care
"This is a quickly changing situation, and we will continue to reassess local conditions and provide timely updates via websites and social media," the release said. "Thank you for your support and cooperation as we ensure that all members of our community stay safe and healthy."
On Thursday, 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.