As school districts across Texas react to Governor Greg Abbott's latest executive order, which includes the lifting of the mask mandate, many of them have been waiting for guidance from the Texas Education Agency.
The TEA announced on Wednesday the updates to its Public Health Guidance.
Under the TEA's updated guidance, "a public school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy."
This guidance document also lays out four sets of practices that minimize the likelihood of spreading COVID-19, including some that are requirements for all schools and others that are recommendations:
1. PROVIDE NOTICE: Requirements for parental and public notices
2. PREVENT: Required practices to prevent the virus from entering the school
3. RESPOND: Required practices to respond to a test-confirmed case in the school
4. MITIGATE: Recommended and required practices to reduce likely spread inside the school
The TEA also made updates related to surface cleaning requirements.
Additionally, the Department of State Health Services announced on Wednesday that educators and school support staff are eligible for vaccines effective immediately.
DSHS says they received a letter on Tuesday night from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directing states to expand eligibility to include people who work in school and child care operations.