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Texas Association of School Boards discusses how school districts are dealing with COVID-19 exposures

According to the TASB, the school district will only be notifying the individuals that are in the school setting. This is going to be the district’s employees and the parents of students in the district.
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 9:22 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Many students are back in the classroom as the new school year has started for districts across the Brazos Valley. One thing that many parents and faculty are worried about is how districts will be dealing with coronavirus exposures if it happens on campus.

KBTX spoke with Joy Baskin, the director of legal services of the Texas Association of School Boards.

If a student or faculty member has a confirmed case of COVID-19, school districts have several options to choose from but they must do them in a timely manner. One option is to do contact tracing which the district can do in conjunction with the local health department.

According to the TASB, the school district will only be notifying the individuals that are in the school setting. This is going to be the district’s employees and the parents of students in the district if there was direct contact that occurred in the school setting. Baskin added that it is more contact than you might think.

“It is a full 15 minutes in each other’s presence with the contact being closer than six feet. So it is not incidental contact like someone just passing down the hallway. It’s more of a sustained contact. If that is the case, they will be notifying those individuals and they will likely begin a period of quarantine.”

Because of the pandemic, teachers are being held to high health and safety standards in the classroom. Many teachers have to come up with creative ways in how to maintain social distancing. Some facilities are not large enough to actually accommodate students being more than six feet apart.

“In those instances, we know that districts have tried to order Plexiglas shields and other resources that might help students and teachers maintain appropriate distancing. Of course, districts are also requiring students to wear masks or other face-covering and teachers as well to use that form of personal protective equipment,” Baskin said.

Support staff, like custodians, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers, may not come into contact with students as much as teachers, but they still have processes for social distancing and PPE that are specific to their areas. In many cases, those employees may have more sophisticated facial coverings made available to them than would be typical in the classroom.

Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.

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