AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Independent School District has canceled classes for Friday, March 13, after the City of Austin announced people have tested presumptively positive for coronavirus.
According to an email sent to parents Friday morning, Austin ISD said the cancellation is "in the interest of health safety in regard to our students and staff."
Reyne Telles, the executive director of communications for AISD, told KVUE he will receiving updates from local authorities and local government partners.
"We made the decision in the best interest of our families and our staff and parents," Telles said. "Students and staff are urged to remain vigilant in their efforts to remain healthy but we certainly don’t want to cause any alarm or panic with our decision. We just thought it was the best decision we could make at this time with the information that we have."
Austin ISD said it would be preparing lunch for students under the age of 19 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at 14 sites: Dobie, Cook, LBJ, Burnet, TA Brown, Eastside, Dawson, Linder, Crockett, Perez, Akins, Houston, Pleasant Hill, Govalle.
According to Austin Public Health, both confirmed cases in the Austin area are not believed to be community spread. This means the illness did not come from an infected person that they came in contact with, health officials said.
“This is concerning but not surprising and we have been prepared for the arrival of COVID-19 in our area,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County Interim Medical Authority. “It is critical that the community continue to heed our recommendations and take personal hygiene seriously. This will be the key to ensuring that this virus doesn’t spread.”
According to APH, Austin-Travis County is now in Phase 3 of its five-phase plan. The plan is as follows:
Phase 1: Persons Under Monitoring
Phase 2: Persons Under Investigation (Testing in Progress)
Phase 3: Confirmed Case (No Person-to-Person spread)
Phase 4: Limited Person-to-Person Spread (Close/Household Contacts)
Phase 5: Person-to-Person Spread in the Community
Mayor Steve Adler and other Austin health officials provided updates during a 6 a.m. press conference on Friday. The press conference will be live-streamed on KVUE's social platforms and online.
The City of Austin will be providing an updating case count here.
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