AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) – The Texas Education Agency Thursday issued updated COVID-19 guidance for public schools as the start the new school year approaches that are less restrictive than the rules under which schools operated last year.
Public schools may not require students to wear face masks but must allow students who wish to wear them to do so.
School districts don’t have to notify parents about COVID-19 cases or positive tests, but should a student, teacher, or other staff member test positive for the virus, the district must notify its local health department and must also submit an online report to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Students who have COVID-19 or who test positive for the virus must be excluded from attending school and during the period they’re out of class, remote instruction may be provided.
“Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is test-confirmed with COVID-19, 2 until the conditions for re-entry are met,” the guidance says.
Districts must notify the parents of students determined to be close contacts of someone with the virus.
Vaccinated students aren’t considered close contacts, the guidance says.
Contract tracing isn’t required.
“Given the data from 2020-21 showing very low COVID-19 transmission rates in a classroom setting and data demonstrating lower transmission rates among children than adults, school systems are not required to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing,” the guidance says.
Parents of students who’ve had close contact with someone with the virus may keep their children home for the recommended 10-day period, and remote instruction may be provided.
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