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(Pixabay/Pexels)

Austin ISD will suspend in-person education and deliver virtual instruction for the first three weeks of the upcoming school year, which begins Aug. 18, according to a July 14 announcement.


"The health and safety of our students and staff are at the forefront of all of our decisions," it reads.



Austin ISD follows other school districts—including Round Rock ISD and San Antonio ISD—in instituting a three-week delay.

Eanes ISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Leonard and Board President Jennifer Champagne sent a letter to state officials today to "strongly advocate" for the suspension of in-person school until the seven-day moving average of daily new COVID-19 hospital admissions is five or fewer. It was 69.6 as of the latest update on Monday evening.



Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott recommended a three-week delay earlier today during a Travis County Commissioners Court meeting.

"The schools need time, they need time to plan, they need time to orient their faculty and staff to the new realities," he said.

Although the COVID-19 case fatality rate among children is much lower than for other age groups, there is still a risk of loss of life.

Dr. Escott said Travis County could see between 40 and 1,370 deaths across its five public school districts, which serve 192,000 students, if in-person teaching resumes.

Teachers and other staff are at a much higher risk of contracting and dying from the virus, Dr. Escott said.

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