Hutto ISD updates COVID-19 safety policies in response to rising infection rate

Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas addresses the board
Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas updated the Hutto ISD Board of Trustees on COVID-19 policies at a Jan. 13 meeting. (Carson Ganong/Community Impact Newspaper)

Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas updated the Hutto ISD Board of Trustees on COVID-19 policies at a Jan. 13 meeting. (Carson Ganong/Community Impact Newspaper)

Hutto ISD has adjusted several of its COVID-19 mitigation strategies following a spike in cases at the beginning of the spring 2022 semester.

According to a district presentation, as of Jan. 13 there were 145 active staff cases and 402 active student cases, up from 9 staff cases and 23 student cases on Dec. 16.

Affected students and staff are at home in isolation, district officials said.

The high number of staff cases is especially problematic, Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas said.

"The staff cases are almost putting us at a standstill," Estrada Thomas said. "As a district, I can tell you that we are struggling to cover classes."


To limit spread of the virus, HISD has returned to disallowing visitors on campuses until the end of January, with an exception for volunteers cleared through the volunteer application process.

Per CDC recommendations, the district has lowered the quarantine period from 10 days to 5 days for staff who test positive, though staff members who return to work before 10 days will be required to wear a mask for the remaining days.

The change applies only to staff, and students who test positive must still wait 10 days before returning to school.

Parents will also be allowed to keep their children home for observation if a member of their family tests positive. in such cases, the student’s absences will be excused as long as proof of a positive test is provided.

Additionally, the district will continue providing testing and holding vaccine clinics. The next clinic is Feb. 2 at Kerley Elementary School.
By Carson Ganong

Reporter, Pflugerville/Hutto

Carson became the reporter for the Pflugerville-Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper in August 2021. Before joining CI, Carson studied journalism at Texas State University, where he covered San Marcos as a reporter for Texas State's student newspaper, The University Star.