Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases on its campuses, the Runge Independent School District (ISD), located nearly two hours southeast of San Antonio, has taken the decision to temporarily close its doors until next week according to a KENS 5 report. The closure was announced on Wednesday, August 23, as the district grapples with a rising number of cases among students and staff.
In a letter addressed to parents and guardians, Superintendent Hector Dominguez conveyed that the district's top priority is the safety and wellbeing of its students, staff, and community. He explained that due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the school district will be shutting down from August 24 through August 29. All extracurricular activities have also been put on hold until the same date.
According to data from Runge ISD's COVID-19 tracker, there were 10 active cases of the virus within the district as of Monday, August 21. While some members of the community have expressed concerns about the decision to close the district due to what they view as a relatively low case count, Dominguez emphasized the unique challenges faced by smaller school districts.
Responding to criticism, Dominguez highlighted that Runge ISD is a relatively small district serving a total of 208 students across its two campuses. The reported 10 cases are all among its 43 staff members, and Dominguez himself has also tested positive for the virus, as reported by KENS.
"We're a very small school district, so we don't have the resources that another large district would have to cover classes," Dominguez explained in an interview with KENS.
The decision to temporarily close the schools has ignited a conversation within the community and on social media platforms. On Thursday, August 24, a comment appeared on Superintendent Dominguez's Facebook page criticizing the closure as "laziness" and a "dereliction of duty." However, many other community members have expressed support for the district's cautious approach to protect the health of students and staff members.