Big Sandy ISD has closed its campuses due to the spread of COVID-19 and will reopen Thursday for virtual learning until Oct. 5.

Monday was the last day for in-person instruction for the nearly two-week period, according to a letter sent Monday to parents in the district from Superintendent Mike Burns. The district’s three schools are closed today for cleaning and disinfecting.

Burns said there are 10 active cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the district.

“In addition, many other students are in the middle of quarantine because of close contact with students or staff who may have tested positive for COVID-19,” he said. “This large number of students who have been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another is making it difficult for our school district to conduct business as usual.”

Staff will return to the district Wednesday to prepare for remote-only instruction, Burns said.

Also on Wednesday, students who need a Chromebook can pick one up in front of the high school gym from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Remote instruction will begin on Thursday.

The district will provide meals to students who need to pick them up during the closure. A form must be filled out requesting the meals.

The letter from Burns also said all extracurricular activities will be canceled until the week of Oct. 5. Homecoming and Senior Night will be rescheduled for Oct. 23, and the district will attempt to make up missed volleyball games when in-person classes resume.

“This decision did not come easy for me,” Burns said in the letter. “Our administrators and I agonized over closing our school to in-person learning. Still, under the current circumstances, I believe it is the right choice for our community at this time.”

Burns also implored district stakeholders to work to stay healthy by avoiding places with large numbers of people and to stay home if they feel sick.

“We promise to work closely with your family during this time,” he said. “This is a new and unique experience for all of us, and we are learning how best to support one another. Your patience and compassion are appreciated.”