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Schools ordered to stay closed in Corpus Christi

On-campus learning is off limits in the 12 independent school districts in Nueces County at least through September 7. Virtual learning only will be permitted per a new order by the Corpus Christi/Nueces County Health Authority.

Students in the 12 Nueces County independent school districts will learn remotely for at least the first three weeks of school per a public health order issued by Local Health Authority Dr. Srikanth Ramachandruni. The order designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was announced at the daily joint city/county news briefing in City Hall on Thursday, July 16.

“Schools systems shall not reopen schools for on-campus, face-to-face instruction until after September 7, 2020,” Dr. Ramachandruni read from the order at the briefing. “Virtual instruction shall be permitted as per a school system’s own plan.”

The closed campuses ruling might well be extended, explained Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni. As written in the order, schools will need to submit a plan for on-campus instruction and activities to the Corpus Christi/Nueces County Health Authority two weeks prior to reopening schools. The plan must be made available to the public.

Extracurricular activities, including most sports, governed by the University Interscholastic League are excluded.

“We will monitor this week by week, day by day as we get closer to Labor Day,” Zanoni said. “We may extend the order depending one how well we are doing in the county.”

The numbers were better on Thursday. New reported cases of COVID-19 dropped to 329 from a secondary high of 500 the day before and a record of 605 the day before that.

“We may have to extend if the numbers continue at 500 and 600 a day,” Zanoni said. “Even at 300, it may be a necessity to continue at-home learning beyond Labor Day. Some superintendents have told us they believe it could go on until December.”

A second order is expected in the next few days to include parochial, private, and charter schools.

To follow the latest news on COVID-19 in Corpus Christi, check the Corpus Christi Business News' COVID-19 Resource Page.

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