Harris Co. superintendents told in-person instruction should be delayed until October

Schools in Harris County may not have in-person instruction until late fall if county officials get their way.

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On Monday, Harris County Public Health Dir. Umair Shah and Judge Lina Hidalgo sent a letter to the county's superintendents saying, "in-person, face-to-face instruction should not be made available for any grades from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 until October 2020."

The letter goes on to ask school districts to work with government and community partners to provide the necessary tools for remote learning. 

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All school-sponsored activities, events, and extracurriculars are also recommended not to take place.

“We recognize that in-person instruction is vital for the educational development and social well-being of children and young adults. Schools provide much-needed food assistance to many lower-income families by offering students healthy meals and access to resources they may not otherwise have. And in-person instruction of children is crucial for many parents to carry out their activities,” the letter reads. However, the prevalence of the virus in our community means that it would be unsafe for schools to return in-person at this time or in the near future.”

Harris County has more than 35,000 active COVID-19 cases as of July 20. And according to the county’s COVID-19 threat level system, the county remains at Level 1, which urges residents to stay home.