As cases of COVID-19 soar in Texas, all parents won’t be informed if there’s an outbreak of coronavirus in their children’s public schools.
Notifications will only be required if a district learns a child was a “close contact” with someone with the virus. According to new guidelines issued earlier this week by the Texas Education Agency, those parents can then “opt” to keep their child at home.
According to the guidelines, vaccinated people are not considered close contact who should be informed, even though vaccinated individuals can catch and spread the disease.
The TEA also warns: “School systems cannot require students or staff to wear a mask.”
In addition, schools will no longer be required to carry out contact tracing of a COVID-19 outbreak to determine the source of the virus and how it’s spreading in the school community. Tracing was dropped because data from last school year revealed “meager COVID-19 transmission rates in a classroom setting and data demonstrating lower transmission rates among children than adults,” the TEA noted.
But health experts warn that the dangerously more contagious delta variant of COVID-19, which is currently the dominant strain in Texas, has a far more significant impact on children.