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Houston-area parents brace for schools to close over coronavirus

HOUSTON – As more people in the Greater Houston area are being exposed to the coronavirus, schools are starting to mitigate plans to stop the virus from impacted its campuses.

St. Thomas Episcopal School and Church in Meyerland and The Joy School in Houston are closed for the next two weeks, hoping to stop the spread of Coronavirus. The head of The Joy School told parents in an online video that one member of its community had direct contact with someone infected and a second school member lives with someone who had direct contact with someone infected.

Neither person is showing symptoms or had been tested. Both of them had been on campus Tuesday.

St. Thomas Episcopal School will be closed for two weeks as a precaution after reports of a student that has a sibling who’s been exposed to the virus. The sibling attends a different school, but St. Thomas isn’t taking any chances, shutting down until March 25.

Montgomery Independent School District is also suspending classes Thursday and Friday ahead of spring break.

Trey Hutchins, whose three kids go to Friendswood Independent School District, received an email from the superintendent that stated the district has also weighed its options in the wake of this pandemic. Hutchins said he and his wife have yet to come up with a plan about what to do if their three boys need to stay home for an extended period.

“We will have a conversation with them, explain if school closes, why it closed,” said Hutchins, who says he has so many questions about what would follow a temporary school closure. “Does that increase the school year, do they have to maybe go in the summer now? how long does it stay closed? There’s just so many unknowns.”

Even with his wife staying home, Hutchins said it would still be a major adjustment, requiring him to leave early or work from home.