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Elementary school in Princeton ISD closing this week due to COVID outbreak, officials say

The COVID case dashboard, last updated on Aug. 24, said that Smith Elementary had 38 cases of COVID.

PRINCETON, Texas — An elementary school at Princeton ISD will be closed for the remainder of the week to "slow the spread of COVID-19 on that campus," officials said in an email. The school will remain closed until after Labor Day.

Smith Elementary is "experiencing a higher percentage of positive cases than the rest of the district," the letter to parents said. 

All other schools in the district will continue operations as normal. The first day of school for the district was Thursday, Aug. 12.

"We based the decision on the percentage of positive cases on that campus," the district told WFAA. "The remainder of our other nine campuses are sitting at less than 1% of positive cases."

The district had about 4,800 students enrolled in 2019, according to the Texas Education Agency.

The COVID case dashboard, last updated on Aug. 24, said that Smith Elementary had 38 cases of COVID. District officials said the dashboard would be updated Monday afternoon.

The district says face masks are optional, but recommended, for visitors, staff and students. The district said they are adding additional COVID guidelines.

The letter said, "As Princeton ISD continues to monitor the current COVID-19 climate in the community and process the feedback we have received from our parents, the district has decided to move forward with a few more guidelines to help keep our staff and students healthy.

"The first step is to increase testing availability. PISD offers free COVID-19 testing to staff and students who have been exposed to a positive case or who are showing symptoms. Staff is being added to increase appointments, as well as extending appointment times to include after-school hours.

"In addition, when a classroom meets the definition of community spread, quarantines for the rest of the class will be recommended. If a student or staff member shows symptoms that we suspect are COVID-19, they will be required to quarantine for 10 days or until they get negative test results.

"We appreciate your understanding as we continue to navigate these trying circumstances. Please know, we have our students at the forefront of our decisions. Our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our staff and students."

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