classes closed to in-person teaching

Harris County and Houston order schools to delay in-person learning

Harris County and Houston order schools to delay in-person learning

Students in a school classroom
Houston-area schools are closed for in-person learning until September 8. Photo by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

All Houston-area public schools and non-religious private schools will remain closed to in-person teaching until September 7. The directive comes from Houston and Harris County health officials.

Harris County Health made the announcement on Friday, July 24 on social media. “The start of in-person instruction and activity may be delayed further based on ongoing monitoring and assessment of public health mitigation conditions,” the notice states.

The joint health order comes from Umair A. Shah, Local Health Authority for Harris County, and David Persse, Local Health Authority for the City of Houston.

Hidalgo has been vocal about issuing another stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As CultureMap previously reporter, in June, she made wearing of masks mandatory in all Harris County businesses. She also raised the COVID-19 threat level to red in June; the level suggests residents stay home and away from the public.

“Harris County, we may be running out of time,” said Hidalgo at the time. “It is so crucial that all of us modify our behavior.”

Texas has been under a mask mandate since July 3. Under the order, every Texan is required to wear a mask or facial covering when out in public, though there are exceptions. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has stressed that if people wear masks, the state can avoid a shutdown.

Meanwhile, the Houston Independent School District announced that classes will resume virtually on September 8, with in-person classes beginning Friday, October 16.