TEA updates health guidelines for COVID-positive students, parents

Coronavirus

FILE – In this March 30, 2021, file photo, second grader Ernesto Beltran Pastrana puts on his face mask while attending class during the first day of partial in-person instruction at Garfield Elementary School in Oakland, Calif. Dozens of school districts around the country have eliminated requirements for students to wear masks, and many more are likely to ditch mask requirements before the next academic year. (Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Education of Agency updated their COVID-19 health guidelines for on-campus instruction, non-UIL sports, and overall student activities.

Schools under TEA guidance are required to notify local governments if somebody who has been on campus tests positive for COVID-19.

The school must also submit an online report to the Texas Department of Health Services regarding any student, teacher, staff member, or visitor that has tested positive for COVID-19.

If a student tests positive for COVID, schools must exclude the student from going to in-person instruction. TEA states that schools may deliver remote instruction, as long as it is consistent with Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH) rules.

TEA said parents must make sure they do not send their child to school if they have COVID symptoms or test positive. If parents give permission, the school can conduct rapid COVID tests provided by the state to the students.

Schools are not required to conduct COVID contact tracing for students that are in close contact with someone who is sick, however, the school should notify parents.

The CDC states that people who are vaccinated are not considered close contacts, and data shows that COVID transmission rates in the classroom are “very low.”

Parents that are considered close contacts of somebody that has COVID, can choose whether or not to keep the student at home to quarantine.

“CDC has since updated their guidance, and the stay-at-home period can end for students experiencing no symptoms on Day 10 after close contact exposure, if no subsequent COVID-19 testing is performed,” state the TEA press release.

If the student tests negative from PCR acute test before day 10, they can go on campus.

Regarding masks, Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-38, school systems cannot require students or staff to wear a mask. TEA stated that school systems must allow anybody to wear a mask if they chose to.

Click here to read the full guidance.

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