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Schools, colleges closed through April 3 by Gov. Abbott executive order

Gov. Abbott ordered schools, among restaurant dining rooms and other public locations closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
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BELL COUNTY, Texas — Update 03/19/20 - Gov. Greg Abbott issued a public health disaster for the entire state Thursday. One of the requirements is that every school be closed through April 3.

Killeen ISD also said the University Interscholastic League has canceled all contests and activities until March 29.

The district also canceled all extracurricular and co-curricular activities until otherwise notified.

Belton ISD said its school nutrition program will serve grab-and-go meals twice a day to students age 18 and under at three campus locations. 

Starting March 16, breakfast will be served from 7:30-9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Miller Heights Elementary, Pirtle Elementary and Southwest Elementary.

The City of Temple’s Zone after-school programs at all Temple and Belton ISD sites will be canceled from March 16 to March 20. 

The Zone program will resume once area schools re-open.

Temple ISD will arrange for breakfast and lunch to be offered each day next week to all students, no matter economic status or attending campus. 

The program will take place at the following elementary campuses: Jefferson, Western Hills, Scott, Meridith-Dunbar and Thornton. 

Breakfast will run from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and lunch will run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Killeen ISD also indicated they will provide grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for kids:

The Midway ISD Food Services Department will begin providing breakfast and lunch for curbside pick up beginning March 13. 

Pick up locations will serve all children, ages zero to 18, regardless of enrollment or economic status. We will have curbside pick up locations at Castleman Creek Elementary, Hewitt Elementary, and Speegleville Elementary from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. for lunch. 

USDA requires children be present when picking up the food to prove the number of children you have (for at least the first day). Campuses will be the main contact for families in at-risk situations. 

Let us know if you are in need of food assistance; calls and messages will be routed to the appropriate personnel.

La Vega ISD said they are offering a free breakfast and lunch "drive thru" for students 18 and under. The curbside breakfast will be open from 6:30-8:30 a.m. and the lunch will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both breakfast and lunch will be served at the entrance of each school. The district asks that parents have their students in the vehicle with then when they drive through the line. 

Waco ISD said they are also providing free curbside pickup meals starting Monday, March 16. Breakfast will be served from 8-9:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The district asks that children be present to receive a meal. Parents and children can pick up breakfast and lunch at these locations.

Meanwhile, Valley Mills said in a Facebook post, that meals will be served curbside at Valley Mills Elementary School, located at 102 Hwy 6 in Valley Mills. Meals will be available from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. One breakfast and one lunch meal will be provided for each child in the vehicle beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 20. Parents can notify the district if they intend to pick up a meal by 3 p.m. Monday, March 16 via Facebook.

The impact of coronavirus is also forcing churches to change their services. Many of them have chosen to stream their services online. You can find a list of changes for Central Texas churches here.

Changes to Events and Businesses

It's not just schools and churches impacted by coronavirus. The City of Waco closed certain facilities to the public beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday through at least through midnight March 29. The following City facilities will be closed to the public:

  • Waco Public Libraries
  • Cameron Park Zoo
  • City of Waco Community Centers
  • City of Waco Senior Centers
  • Waco Convention Center & Visitors’ Bureau
  • Texas Ranger Hall of Fame

The Mayborn Museum also announced it would be closed through March 29.

The Hewitt Public Library said it will close through at least March. In addition, they canceled the Family Place parent-child workshops for the Spring.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor canceled a lecture featuring Apollo 16 Astronaut Charlie Duke that was scheduled for March 18.

Helping Hands Ministry of Belton also changed some of its policies.

It will not be open to the public. Instead, it will be offering home delivery of groceries to families in need. Home delivery will continue indefinitely, until Bell County returns to Phase 1 precautions.

Helping Hands Ministry will not be accepting donations of any items other than food or personal hygiene products at this time.

The group is also asking for at least 100 volunteers to home deliveries. Those interested in getting more details or signing up to voluteer contact Bekah Prince, Operations Manager, at bekah@helpinghandsbelton.org or call 817-319-7970.

McLennan County canceled all jury service and jury trials for the rest of March. They plan to resume jury services on April 6.

Charter Communications will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

The McLennan County SKYWARN class that was scheduled for March 16th at Baylor University has been canceled. The plan is to reschedule this class in the late Summer.

Opera and Performing Arts Society

The Opera and Performing Arts Society canceled the performances of Fiddler on the Roof on March 31 and April 1 in Rudder Auditorium, Aquila Theatre’s1984 on March 24 in Rudder Theatre and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on March 17 and 18 in Rudder Auditorium.

According to OPAS, all ticket holders will be contacted for refunds.

Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship

Saturday, TCAF announced it has postponed or canceled all activities until April 6th. The organization, which includes Parkview Christian Academy and Methodist Children's Home in Waco and Memorial Christian Academy in Killeen, said practices are up to the individual schools if they're open, however if the campus is closed or moved to digital classrooms, practice is not allowed.

It has canceled the entire junior high baseball season, high school state tennis and bowling tournaments, the latter of which was scheduled to take place in Killeen. It has postponed high school track & field, softball, baseball, one act play, fine arts and visual art judging in addition to junior high golf regionals and fine arts.

YMCA of Central Texas

On Saturday, the President and CEO of the YMCA of Central Texas, Rodney Martin announced that they will close their locations until March 30. In a statement, Martin said they have been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 over the past few weeks and they felt it was "important to align in accordance with the guidelines from public health authorities, regional closures and other safety considerations." 

Due to recommended social distancing, they have partnered with SWEAT onDemand to offer a new virtual exercise class program free for three months.

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