Cy-Fair ISD staff member at early learning center tests positive for COVID-19

Thursday, August 13, 2020
Cy-Fair ISD tells parents staff member has contracted virus
They're not the only district who came across the same issue. ABC13's Roxie Bustamante lists other districts in the Houston-area who have had staff members test positive for the virus.

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- Cypress-Fairbanks ISD is laying out its protocols after parents received a notification stating an employee at one of the district's early learning centers tested positive for COVID-19.

The notification was sent to parents this week and said the unidentified employee is in self-isolation after receiving the positive test results.

The district said it will not release any details on the person's condition and referred Eyewitness News to the district's full list of protocols posted on its website.


"The district will not comment on the health condition of individuals. Please see below the protocol that can also be found in our LEAD Safely 2020-2021 plan in the event an employee is suspected, presumptive, or confirmed for COVID-19.

According to district guidelines, if a staff member is suspected, presumptive, or confirmed for COVID-19, the CFISD Health Services department will be notified.

The employee will be directed to follow the advice from medical professionals and CDC guidelines, including the possible imposition of a quarantine and required symptom-free period prior to returning to work; and the individual has improvement in symptoms; and at least ten (10) days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

The district will:

  • Identify and notify others who may have been exposed without disclosing the name of the affected employee; and
  • Isolate and decontaminate the employee's workplace, vehicle, equipment, etc., as necessary."

Meanwhile, Cy-Fair AFT president, Nikki Cowart, also sent ABC13 a statement saying in-person training isn't sitting well with the group.


"Cy-Fair AFT Union is looking at all options to make sure that our school district helps to keep our community safe. What the district is doing, by mandating new staff orientation and back to school trainings be done in person on campuses, is causing great concern for many of our school employees and parents both.

Further, this is not just about teachers returning to their campuses this week. This is about how we begin this school year with proper protocols in place and being followed in every worksite across the district."


Cy-Fair ISD is requiring teachers to report to campus on Friday for professional development training online.

Teachers expressed concern and frustrations over the district's reopening plans at a rally during a school board meeting on Monday.

State Representative Jon Rosenthal made an announcement on Facebook saying he sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath asking them to reconsider its guidance for reopening schools in the fall.

He hopes they'll provide science-based recommendations for school districts and hopes they'll relinquish the authority to school districts and local health officials as "primary decision makers."

Earlier this month, Gov. Abbott addressed reopening schools, backing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's opinion that local public health authorities can't require schools to close as a preventative measure, only in the event that there has been an outbreak inside the school.

READ MORE: Gov. Abbott says local health officials can shut down schools only in limited circumstances

Meanwhile, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Wednesday that under the current conditions, public schools and non-religious private schools should not hold in-person instruction.

Sherri Onyiego with the Harris County Public Health Department told ABC13 on Wednesday that the health department is still working with local school districts and meeting with superintendents regularly about reopening plans.

She said the department's team is looking at metrics from around the world as well as the number of the county's new COVID-19 cases, the number of patients in ICU and general hospital admissions, the community's positivity rate and whether a vaccine or treatment is available.

"We will also be providing resources to the schools on contact tracing and doing specific training for them on that," Onyiego said. "We've developed a number of resources to be able to continue to make sure we have a continued partnership with the school districts because again they are part of this larger community that we really want to ensure we protect their health and safety."

She said the health department wants to see the community positivity rate at 5% or less along with a decrease in new COVID-19 cases before in-person instruction can continue.

"We feel like these are metrics that are achievable," Onyiego said. "I'm a parent, I'm a mom, and I know these are very difficult decisions. We all want our kids back in school, but we want to make sure it is a healthy environment so that we can move forward to putting them in school. These metrics were certainly really looked at with great caution and with a great thorough review."

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