April 2012

Q&A: TB testing for new school employees

Q: Are newly hired school employees required to have TB tests?

 

A: No. There is no statewide requirement for new hires, teachers, or other school employees to have a tuberculin (TB) skin test. Many years ago there was a state requirement to test all school employees, but that requirement was removed from law in 1987. In the years following the repeal of state law, county health departments in areas of the state that had a high incidence of TB continued to recommend testing of new employees. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) actually discourages the use of the tuberculin skin test for persons who have no risk factors for TB exposure. Additional information on TB, including frequently asked questions, is available on the Department of State Health Services Web Site.