School closes due to COVID

Greenville’s Carver Elementary School will be closed Thursday and Friday this week due to a surge in COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

Greenville’s Carver Elementary School will be closed Thursday and Friday this week due to a surge in COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

“GISD is continuing to closely monitor reports of illness and test-confirmed COVID cases among staff and students,” said an email from Greenville ISD Director of Health Services Noel Bares to Carver parents and staff. “At this point, Carver is the only campus that has a staff shortage reaching the level that instruction can no longer be delivered.”

Greenville ISD hopes to resume classes Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday in keeping with guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The agency recommends a five day-quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 (if symptoms do not develop).

Although the campus will be closed for classes Thursday and Friday, free curbside breakfast and lunch for students will be available for pick up in the bus lane in the school parking lot. Breakfast will be handed out to families who come by both days, from 7:15 to 8 a.m., and lunch will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In the letter, families and staff were advised to monitor for symptoms and to isolate if they begin experiencing symptoms. Families were also asked to report symptoms, test results, and recovery status to their campus’s nurses.

Similarly, GISD staff members were asked to report illnesses and test results to both their campus administrator and to Bares.

The district’s most recently reported COVID numbers, which were updated Monday, stated that a total of 75 students district-wide were out with COVID during the first week of classes after Christmas break. The district also had 43 staff members isolating at home due to COVID-19 last week.

Those most recent totals of test-confirmed positive cases come out to about 1.36 percent of the student body and 4.5 percent of the staff.

Before the break, the district reported a total of three test-confirmed positive cases among students and five district employees.

“The health and safety of our students, families and staff are always our top concern,” Bares said “Thank you for keeping us informed so that we can make adjustments as needed.”

Similar to how the district is hoping to re-open Carver Elementary School Tuesday, district officials are also still planning to hold this coming Tuesday’s school board meeting in person at 5:30 p.m. at the Wesley Martin Administration Building.

Countywide, COVID-19 cases are soaring. As of Wednesday afternoon, the active COVID cases throughout Hunt County were at 1,502 - an increase of 306 cases since the Texas Department of State Health Service’s previous tally on Monday of 1,196 active cases.

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Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.

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