WCCHD recommends Leander ISD shut down schools for 10 days

The Williamson County and Cities Health District is recommending that Leander ISD close its doors for 10 days due to a spike in COVID-19.

WCCHD sent an email to the district Monday night recommending Leander ISD shut down and adjust health response protocols, according to the district.

In the email, WCCHD states that the incidence rate of new cases for all of Leander ISD is about 135 per 100,00, which WCCHD says is about 2.7 times the amount of spread in the surrounding county. The health district adds that multiple campuses have 2 or more active clusters on campus and 43.4% of Leander ISD's cases are occurring in elementary schools.

WCCHD also says that the entire Trauma Service Area that serves Central Texas only has 1 PICU bed remaining.

WCCHD is recommending Leander ISD shut down schools for 10 days and enact the following protocols:

  • Universal masking policy that limits op outs to only those with a medical exemption
  • Robust contact tracing on your campuses
  • Required quarantine for at least 7 days (preferably 10-14 days) for identified close contacts
  • Virtual options for your students who are unable to be vaccinated

In a responding statement, Leander ISD stated that the district had nearly 210 reported cases of COVID-19 last week and 149 cases reported this week. During a school board meeting on Monday, the district talked about multiple COVID clusters within their schools: seven at the elementary school level, one in a middle school, and two at the high school level.

Leander ISD says they are currently keeping schools open and focusing on individual classrooms impacted by clusters of positive cases. The district does say that it is possible that whole classrooms at the elementary level may be required to access remote conferencing with their teacher.

"Every mask that we have in place now that was not in place before is an additional medication that will help to keep our students and staff and our community safe," said Leander ISD superintendent Bruce Gearing said on keeping the mask mandate.

Gearing is expected to talk with the school board Tuesday. The board will then decide whether to follow the health district‘s recommendation to close down.

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