HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The largest school district in the state is closing all its schools as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to spike at an alarming rate.
In a statement released on Monday, HISD said it's restricting access to all district schools and facilities starting Friday, July 3 until Sunday, July 19.
That also includes all student athletics workouts and practices.
"These new measures are imperative for the health and safety of our students and staff," said HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. "Every decision we make has them in mind. I urge you all to please be safe in the coming weeks - stay home when you can, wash your hands, and wear a mask if you must go out."
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The district continues to operate virtually and will continue to provide educational and related services. HISD students will be allowed to keep its district-issued laptops until the fall rather than bringing them back to campus, which the district says eliminates the need to bring additional staff and families on site.
Employees reporting to a location as a part of their jobs will continue to practice social distancing and wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
The Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center will remain open for limited purposes.
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The Curbside Summer Meals program will continue to operate at designated sites under its current schedule.
Additionally, custodians will continue to monitor buildings for emergencies, and grounds crews will continue basic groundskeeping. Bond school construction also will continue.
The district said most HISD employees have been working from home since the district announced its building closures in March, but some staff have been allowed to re-enter and complete necessary duties, such as registration, technology distribution, equipment inventory, and classroom space assessments.
Employees have through Thursday, July 2, to complete campus-based tasks and take home any needed items, but administrators must streamline operations and limit the number of people on site through the week.
HISD closing schools due to spike in COVID-19 cases across Houston