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Leander ISD reporting nearly 100 cases of COVID-19, issues mask mandate

At least 95 cases have been reported since Saturday.

LEANDER, Texas — Five days into its on-campus instruction, Leander ISD has already reported around 100 cases of COVID-19.

According to its online dashboard on Tuesday, 95 total cases have been reported across the district since Saturday, Aug. 14. Since Aug. 5, 136 total cases have been reported. Classes resumed on Thursday, Aug. 12. 

To view a detailed report on each of these cases, click here.

On Tuesday, LISD Superintendent Bruce Gearing announced an update to its health protocols, adding a districtwide mandate starting Wednesday.

"Under the district’s new mask protocol, all students, teachers, staff members and visitors, must wear masks when indoors, including buses and all school buildings," Gearing wrote. "Students and staff have the option to remove their masks while eating or when outdoors. We will require masks during athletics, fine arts and physical education classes, practices and rehearsals unless students are actively exercising, rehearsing or performing indoors."

Gearing said the quick change in protocol came after dozens of new cases were noted in just four days of reporting. He added that the highest count total from last school year for an entire week was 130 cases on Jan. 29.

"Officials from Austin Public Health [APH] and the Williamson County and Cities Health District [WCCHD] shared their concerns about rising cases in our region," Gearing wrote. "They strongly recommended requiring masks to help reduce the spread across our community. "

The district has also moved to its Red Stage COVID-19 response. That includes:

  • Cohorting (keeping students in pods or common groups)
  • Only essential visitors are allowed at campus/district facilities
  • Cover and close water fountains and use water bottle fillers

"We have been working with our principals on processes and procedures for enforcing the mask requirement in our school buildings. We ask for patience, grace and support from our students, staff, teachers and families during this transition," said Gearing. "We made this work last year. It was tough, but we came together to stay open and minimize the health risk in our schools. We can do what’s best for most students."

Students currently enrolled in remote learning that wish to transition back to campus can do so by contacting their school's registrar.

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