Texas schools and COVID-19: Schools next steps as some students test positive for virus

ByRoxanne Bustamante KTRK logo
Thursday, September 3, 2020
How schools districts will be required to report COVID-19 cases
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School is back in session and some are already seeing COVID-19 cases.

Lamar CISD confirmed three students tested positive for coronavirus, forcing 28 other students at Meyer Elementary School to quarantine.

Lamar CISD told ABC13 the district was notified on Aug. 31 that three students, who are related, tested positive for COVID-19. The three students were participating in in-person learning, but in separate classes. Out of caution, the district asked 28 other students to quarantine.

SEE ALSO: 3 Lamar CISD elementary students test positive for COVID-19 after in-person instruction

The District sent the following statement:

The District uses the following guidelines from TEA on determining if someone is at-risk of exposure: An individual who meets the following criteria will be considered in close contact and having at-risk exposure.

Being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes; however, additional factors like case/contact masking (i.e., both the infectious individual and the potential close contact have been consistently and properly masked), ventilation, presence of dividers and case symptomatology may affect this determination or being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on while not wearing a mask or face shield).

And if either of the above occurred at any time in the last 14 days when the infected individual was considered infectious (at least two days prior to the onset of symptoms or two days prior to the test for asymptomatic individuals).

SEE ALSO: Houston-area school districts' fall 2020 plans

In Clear Creek ISD, a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week and the district notified the community about a kindergartner at Ross Elementary had tested positive.

Candis Houston, president of Aldine AFT, said school districts need a clear guideline for all employees on what to do when an employee or student tests positive.

"Fear comes from the unknown," Houston said. "People feel better when they know what's going to happen and then not only that, make sure you do what you're saying you're going to do - accountability."

SEE ALSO: Teachers to give COVID-19 case report separate from Texas count

According to the Texas Education Agency, Texas school districts are required to send a notice to the public when someone, either a staff member or student tests positive. The state will also require districts to report all cases starting Sept. 8.

That information will then be posted, here.

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