By Gaige Davila
Port Isabel Independent School District is extending spring break another week for all Port Isabel public school campuses.
The extension, from March 23 to March 27, was made out of concern for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, a March 17 media release from PI-ISD superintendent Theresa Alarcon stated. PI-ISD is now in Level 2 of the district’s response plan.
Level 2 of the response plan includes extending spring break at all campuses, limiting large gatherings to only essential school district events and postponing gatherings of 10 people or more, limit all “unnecessary travel” and restrict outside food delivery.
The extended school closure is for students only. Faculty and staff will return to campus this week, pending communication from the school district within the next 48 hours.
Closures after March 27 have not been decided, Alarcon said, but the school district will inform parents if such decision is made.
To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Port Isabel, South Padre Island, or the Rio Grande Valley. As of March 17, there are 69 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas, according to the Texas Tribune.
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that causes respiratory illness. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11.
Below are Alarcon’s letter and a full list of the district’s response plan.