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School closings tracker: Where districts are shutting down again due to COVID-19 outbreaks

Administrators are seeing more in-school transmission this year

Biggest impacts so far....

One big difference administrators are seeing during the latest COVID surge is a significant increase of in-school transmission of COVID, particularly where districts have reopened without masking or social distancing. In-school transmission rates were low to non-existent during 2020-21 when most schools were taken aggressive safety precautions.

ALABAMA: Five out of 29 schools in the Cullman County district have shifted to remote learning with more than one-third of students absent due to positive COVID tests or quarantines after having been a close contact. Students are expected to return on Sept. 10. Masks will be required in schools when absences reach 15%,

FLORIDA: Celebration K-8 school in The School District of Osceola County is closed until Aug. 30 due to staff and students testing positive.

GEORIGA: The rural Screvens County School System will be closed from Aug. 19 until Sept. 7, and will shift back to virtual learning on Aug. 23.

Ware County Public Schools has shut down completely for the next two weeks, and will not offer virtual instruction due to “a sharp increase in the number of active positive COVID cases reported among students and staff members as well as the number of individuals who are currently quarantined,” the district said on its website. Classes there won’t resume until at least Sept. 7.

Burke County Public Schools, which reported 40 new student cases of COVID, has also shut down for the next two weeks.

Ben Hill County Schools will be virtual this week due to “a large increase in the number of students that are either positive or being quarantined for COVID-19 at all schools,” Superintendent J. Shawn Haralson said in a letter to the community.

Randolph County School System in Georgia has gone virtual until at least Sept. 7 after several students tested positive for COVID, Superintendent Tangela Madge announced on the district’s website.

“Parents, it is imperative that you assist us during this most difficult time,” Madge wrote in another post. “No matter how much we ensure that our campuses are safe, what students do outside the school environment makes the most impact. How we control the spread INSIDE the district depends on how well parents, students, and community members control the spread OUTSIDE the district.”

The Macon County School System, a three-building district in Georgia, will be fully virtual from Aug. 16 to Aug. 27. The district has also reinstated a mask mandate for all students and staff.

The Crisp County School System has placed its high school on virtual learning through Aug. 23 due to “a spike in cases,” the district announced on Facebook.

Cook County Schools will be closed from Aug. 23 to 27, according to the district’s Facebook page.

ILLINOIS: Hardin County CUSD #1 is closed until Aug. 30 after 25% of its students were absent on Aug. 24.

KANSAS: USD 353 School District in Wellington has closed all six of its buildings until Sept. 7 after three schools were designated COVID outbreak schools by county health officials. The district also suspended all sports and other events and activities.

KENTUCKY: Magoffin County Schools will be closed through Aug. 29, the district announced.

Leslie County Schools is canceling all classes until Aug. 27 due to an increase in cases and quarantines.

MISSISSIPPI: The Pascagoula-Gautier School District has closed a high school and a fifth- and sixth-grade academy for two weeks due to COVID cases, according to

Lamar County School District in Mississippi has shifted at least six schools to virtual learning, reported.

Several schools in the George, Hancock and Stone County school districts are closed for up to two weeks, reported.

MONTANA: Chester-Joplin-Inverness Public Schools delayed the first day of school from Aug. 26 to Aug. 31 after a teacher tested positive at a training day, reported.

NEW MEXICO: Carlsbad Municipal Schools has returned its high school and middle to remote learning after several new COVID cases in the past two weeks, Superintendent Gerry C. Washburn wrote in a letter to the community.

OHIO: Fairfield Local Schools has closed until Aug. 30. In just one week, the absentee rate among students rose by 315%, Superintendent Tim Dettwiller said on the district’s website

OKLAHOMA: Cameron Public Schools has moved to virtual learning until Sept. 6 because of an increase in students testing positive for COVID, the district announced on Facebook.

“The health and safety of our students is our number one priority and this will give our students a better opportunity to remain healthy while still providing them with the opportunity to continue their education from their homes,” Superintendent John Long posted. “The philosophy of Cameron Public School is there is no substitute for in-class traditional learning.”

TENNESSEE: Due to staff shortages, the Cheatham County School District is closed on Thursday, Aug. 30Bledsoe County Schools and Cleveland City Schools are also closed until Aug. 30.

Meigs County Schools will be closed until Aug. 30, reported.

Coffee County Schools is closed until Sept. 1 “out of concerns over COVID-19,” reported.

Lebanon Special School District will be completely closed, with no remote learning, until Aug. 27 due to student absences and staffing shortages. When the district reopens on Aug. 30, it will be under “masks requested” status.

TEXAS: Kemp ISD is closed until Aug. 30 due to a “rapid and significant” rise in COVID cases.

Iraan-Sheffield ISD has shut down completely until Aug. 30 and is not currently planning any virtual instruction, Superintendent Tracy Canter has announced.

Gorman ISD, near Abeline, delayed the first day of school until Aug. 25 due to COVID cases among students and staff. “I am disappointed that we will not be able to see our students for another week, but I do believe that this is the safest course of action to take,” Superintendent Mike Winter said in a message to the district.

VIRGINIA: Amherst County Public Schools has closed all four of its secondary schools until Sept. 2 due to a COVID outbreak.

Rappahannock County Public Schools switched to distance learning for the week of Aug. 24-27th.

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