Marshal Harrison, superintendent of the Sunray Independent School District (SISD), announced on Facebook last night that, because of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, Sunray schools will remain closed until April 1. Sunray students are currently on spring break. Harrison said that he had been in daily contact with state authorities and that the decision to extend spring break another week was a difficult one. He said that 900 school districts across the state were closing or had closed due to the virus. Until yesterday, Sunray students were scheduled to return to class on March 23. Though current plans have students returning on April 1, Harrison said administrators were preparing for an extended closure, should that become necessary.
Dumas Independent School District Superintendent Monte Hysinger said that there would be an emergency meeting of the DISD Board of Trustees at 4:00 pm on Wednesday in the Central Administration Building at 4th and Miller in Dumas to consider the issue for DISD students, who are also on spring break this week. The meeting will be open to the public. According to the agenda of the meeting, the board will consider and take action on a resolution delegating to the superintendent "authority to make emergency modifications to disaster policies as needed to provide for, without limit, closure of schools, Disaster Declaration, and to mitigate public health risks during he COVID-19 worldwide epidemic."
In Sunray, Harrison said that the time off would not have to be made up, and that the administration was exploring ways to continue instruction digitally. He said a meeting was scheduled for March 24 with administrators and March 25 with SISD staff, at which time he said that administrators would release details of the plan to continue instruction, and address issues pertaining to extracurricular activities, special education, food service, field trips and non-essential travel, and staff.
Harrison said the decision to postpone the return to class was not based on fear: "We want to cover all of our bases; we want to make sure we are taking care of our staff and students." He said that there had been two confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID19) in Lubbock and that there had been individuals tested in Moore County, though there had been no confirmed case of the virus. Lubbock station KCBD reports that Lubbock city officials confirmed late yesterday that two people had tested positive for the virus. Both cases were travel related, and neither required hospitalization. In Moore County, Moore County Emergency Management reaffirms that there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in the county. One group of 15 people from the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church returned to Moore County from a trip to Rome, Italy on February 20, a few days before the disease broke out in the northern part of the country. Tests for the virus were not yet available. The health of all 15 was monitored by state and Moore County Hospital District officials for two weeks, according to Father Gabrial Garcia, pastor of the church. All 15 were confirmed to be disease free. Robert Brehm of Moore County Emergency Management said he knew of no other Moore County residents being tested for the virus at this time.