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North Texas School Districts Making Changes As COVID-19 Cases Surge

RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The second week of school after Winter Break begins Monday and many local school districts are making some changes as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the DFW Metroplex.

Richardson ISD announced, starting on Monday, everyone will be required to wear a mask in all buildings.

According to the district, one of the major reasons they're making this change now is that their data shows there's been a 2,100% increase in the number of COVID-19 cases from December 7 to January 6.

The district also points out they've reached a new pandemic high number of cases each day since students returned to classes this year.

The announcement calmed the nerves for parent Blair Taylor, who has two students in Richardson ISD.

"I think it's the right decision and I'm really glad that they have made that choice," said Taylor.

The mandate she says will also help keep her little one, Beckett, safe.

"Watching all of the cases, watching what was happening over the break was very nerve-racking because I also have a toddler. He is too young to be vaccinated," added Taylor.

But this move was too late for parent Christina Marvel, who just unenrolled their 3rd grader Drew. "We really did have a choice we felt like."

Marvel fears the masks just aren't enough right now. "A mask mandate with hopefully a generous supply of N95 for all staff and admin and equivalent for all children, temperature checks, strict reporting of the numbers."

According to numbers on RISD's website, 278 employees, 3.82% of staff, have tested positive for COVID-19 and 913 students, or 2.45% of the current student body, have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

"What we need to do is we need to figure out the best way to make the mask mandate work for everybody in an equitable way so that way everybody has masks that they need and the resources that they need," added Taylor.

The requirement will be in place for at least the next three weeks.

The district urges parents to monitor their student's symptoms daily and if they are feeling ill, to keep them home.

Parents can track the RISD COVID-19 Notification Portal, here:

Lancaster ISD announced at the beginning of the year that students would attend virtual classes when they returned back from Winter Break and will return to in-person classes on Monday.

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