TEA changes COVID-19 guidelines for schools on masks, notifications

Under new guidance from the Texas Education Agency this week, school districts are now required, not just recommended, to notify families if their child was in contact with a positive COVID-19 case.

However, at Austin ISD, it’s a process they are already used to.

"It's something we have 'to a T' at this moment," said Eddie Villa, communications specialist for AISD. "As soon as we get a positive case notified it comes to our health services team and we begin working with that campus and the principal."

Villa said this year, if a student comes in close contact with a case but is vaccinated and showing no symptoms, they don’t have to quarantine. Otherwise, students are asked to quarantine for ten days.

So far this week, AISD reported 48 new cases and 162 new exposures. AISD is also one of many Texas school districts that implemented a mask mandate, defying the Governor’s order that banned these mandates in schools.

However, TEA’s new guidance says it will no longer enforce the Governor’s order - as of now - because of ongoing litigation.

"We appreciate that guidance and I think it gives us the opportunity to best enforce what we have in place, and it gives every district local control given their local context," said Villa.

FOX 7 reached out to TEA on Friday for comment and they were not available.

Earlier this week, Austin ISD released further guidance regarding masks and athletics which can be found here.

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