Local school officials fear rise in COVID-19 cases as students return from holiday break

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Students in Texoma returned to school after a holiday break that saw another increase in COVID-19 cases, causing some Wichita Falls Independent School District officials to express concerns about their return to the classroom.

Although COVID-19 vaccines have begun to circulate nationwide, cases continue to soar.

Wichita County saw its highest weekly case total in the last week of 2020.

With local students returning to school and several notices of positive cases over the holiday break for WFISD, Superintendent Michael Kurt says sick students should stay home.

“We’re concerned about that, we’re gonna continue to monitor that,” Kuhrt said. “We’re behind because there were so many backlogged over the Christmas break. But we’re trying to get the return to work or return to campus for students or staff members as quickly as possible.”

Wichita Christian Superintendent Karla Wallace also sees a rise in cases on the horizon.

“We anticipate that we might have more instances of people who become quarantined because they were exposed because of holiday functions because we went about living our lives and seeing family,” Wallace said.

Wallace also said a few of the total 214 Wichita Christian students have done remote learning and less than 10 students and 5 staff have tested positive.

“We have successfully launched our program and we have successfully kept people safe with in-class face-to-face instruction,” Wallace said.

Out of the almost 14,000 students in WFISD, more than 3,000 have chosen remote learning.

Kurht said he hopes that teachers can further assist struggling students in this new semester.

“It’s also a concern that it’s too much sometimes but I think the break was good to re-energize,” Kuhrt said. “I am very proud of our staff and our students for getting through the first semester and making the accomplishments we’ve made.”

Kuhrt also says he advised staff to check on the mental health of students and each other as everyone comes back from break.

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