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'We have no choice': Seguin ISD closes on Friday due to staff shortages amid COVID surge

The district's superintendent announced the closures Thursday.

SEGUIN, Texas — Seguin ISD schools and offices will be closed Friday, administrators said, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon via video on the district's YouTube page with Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez explaining the district's sudden closure due to staff and faculty absences because of the coronavirus. 

"The increase in COVID cases is prohibiting us from effectively operating our schools. Employee absences have escalated and many more staff members have tested positive today resulting in teachers, aids and other vital campus staff having to cover multiple classes," Gutierrez said.  

After careful consideration, he made the call to close Seguin ISD, effectively giving staff, faculty and students a four-day weekend capped with the upcoming MLK holiday. 

"While I do not take this decision lightly we have no choice but to close Seguin ISD schools and offices for Friday, January 14, 2022. By doing so we are hopeful that this will allow much of our staff to recover and return to work on Tuesday," Gutierrez says.  

The superintendent says he plans to have the campuses deep-cleaned and disinfected during the short break, adding he hopes "everyone will take this extra time to rest and recover."

Despite the school and district office closures, Gutierrez said extracurricular activities will continue as scheduled. 

The superintendent also mentioned a vaccination clinic is scheduled for Friday at Seguin High School.

According to Texas DSHS data, Guadalupe County recorded 288 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the second straight day of at least 200 new diagnoses after the county tallied just 11 such days in all of 2021.