How COVID-19 is Affecting South Plains’ Schools & Colleges
With COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise in Lubbock County, it is hard to imagine a part of Lubbock and the South Plains that the virus has not reached. For students in all age groups, contracting COVID-19 remains a real concern and many schools have implemented policies to hopefully limit the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the Lockney Independent School District closed all of its campuses to try and mitigate a small outbreak of COVID-19. According to Lockney ISD Superintendent Jim Baum, 6 students and 1 staff member tested positive for the virus and contract tracing revealed 75 students and 4 adults that will need to quarantine before returning to in-person classes.
School classrooms were cleaned the day of campus closings and in-person classes for both Lockney Elementary and their Junior High school have already resumed as of October 14, while Lockney High School has moved to virtual learning for the time being.
The school district in Littlefield also reported on Tuesday, October 13, that multiple students and staff members at multiple campuses had recently tested positive for the virus. But Littlefield ISD did not order campus closures and instead instructed an unknown number of students and staff to quarantine at home until at least October 23rd.
The Coronavirus is also affecting the fall semester at colleges and universities. On Tuesday, October 13, Texas Tech President Dr. Lawrence Schovanec announced that students will not be attending in-person classes after the upcoming Thanksgiving break. Dr. Schovanec says the decision is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus since many students may be returning from large family Thanksgiving gatherings.
South Plains College is not quite as worried about COVID spreading on its campus. The college announced on Tuesday, October 13, that classes and final fall semester exams will take place as scheduled after the Thanksgiving Break.