WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls ISD is dealing with spiking COVID cases since school returned just over two weeks ago.
“This year has been significantly more challenging than last year believe it or not,” Burgess Elementary Principal Jeff Hill said.
Even before the number of days in school hits 15, Hill saw the impact.
“We had very few cases, way less spread you know the spread was minimal last year and we’re seeing a lot of that this year,” Hill said.
His campus has seen the most cases of any elementary school and Hill points to one difference he’s seen early on: mask wearing.
“The numbers tell the story and I think that we didn’t have the cases that we’re having this year and so the masks have shown to work,” Hill said.
And the school district agrees, launching a 3-week mask up initiative, with 7 campuses in double-digit active cases.
“Hopefully if we do a good job with this and numbers start coming back down then we will never have to have a mask order here in Wichita Falls and people will just be responsible and take care of it themselves,” WFISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt said.
Kuhrt added the initiative will involve members from around the community, showcasing why they are staying masked up.
And it’s not just for students, who make up 203 of the 226 active cases.
“Our 2,000 WFISD staff members work in classrooms with 22-25 kids and they are just as susceptible to it as the students are so we just want to protect them as well,” Kuhrt said.
Coming at the right time with Labor Day weekend approaching and Kuhrt saying last year they saw spikes around each holiday.
But while there’s much up in the air when it comes to the legality of mask mandates here in Texas, they hope to do what they can to curb this spike.
“This is an initiative, this is a trial, this is a plea on my behalf to try and do this, three weeks from now if we’re not seeing results, we’re going to have to do something different,” Kuhrt said.
Hoping to curb the spiking numbers throughout the district, before having to head back to the drawing board.
To follow along on this initiative, find a link to WFISD’s Facebook page by clicking here.