TEA Adjusts Public Health Guidance

June 07, 2021 • April Mabry

TEA Adjusts Public Health Guidance

Districts must review and update procedures to ensure compliance with the June 5, 2021 update to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) public health guidance.

In response to Executive Order GA-36, which prohibits government-mandated face coverings, TEA issued new public health guidance regarding district operations relating to COVID-19. The new, one-page guidance addresses reporting requirements and prohibits public school systems from requiring students or staff to wear a mask. TEA’s guidance no longer addresses other issues including safety precautions, screenings, contact tracing, parent and staff notifications, and exclusion of staff or students exposed to or with symptoms of COVID-19.

District safety protocols

The updated guidance gives public school systems the responsibility of determining which safety protocols, other than a mask mandate, are necessary. Local decisions should be made based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and in consultation with local health authorities.

The CDC recommends schools continue to use COVID-19 prevention strategies outlined in the current version of CDC’s Operational Strategy for K–12 Schools for at least the remainder of the 2020–2021 school year, which includes summer school. Updated CDC guidance to inform planning for the 2021–2022 academic year is expected in the coming weeks.

Public school systems may continue to exclude personnel who test positive but may adjust other safety protocols for individuals who are fully vaccinated.

HR Services resources

As a reminder, any reference to mask requirements in the HR Library resources no longer apply. Resources will be updated to address changes in the future.

April Mabry is an assistant director at TASB HR Services. Send April an email at april.mabry@tasb.org.

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Tagged: COVID-19, "Epidemic Response", TEA, "Texas Education Agency"