How school districts will disclose COVID-19 cases on campus

Texas Education Agency requires districts to do three things

How school districts will disclose COVID-19 cases on campus
what school districts are required to disclose in the event there's a positive COVID-19 case on campus. (Source: KLTV)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - For families with students doing in-person learning, or teachers in the classroom, knowledge is everything this fall. We asked school districts about what they are required to tell you if your student comes in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

The Texas Education Agency required that in the event of a person testing positive for COVID-19, districts must.

1. Notify the local health department while maintaining confidentiality

2. Close off all sections of the school heavily used by the positive person

3. And they must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in the school.

Terrance Ates with NET Health tells us “it’s important for the individual person when they receive their lab results and they’re positive, it’s of utmost importance for them to notify the school district.”

Lufkin, Henderson, and Pinetree school districts ask for the person who tested positive to alert the campus principal or school nurse. Dr. David Spikes, Assistant Superintendent for Lufkin ISD says from there “they’ll do the contact tracing. They’ll talk to the individual to see who they’ve been in contact with.” Once the contact tracing is complete, Lufkin and Henderson will begin alerting people.

David Chenault with Henderson ISD says then it’s time to “notify, usually by letter or email or text somehow, we’ll try to notify all of those people -- staff members or parents of children who’ve had close contact with whoever tested positive.

After contacting individuals who came in close contact, Henderson ISD will even notify the entire community about the positive case from the district. “We think transparency is highly important, and it’s one of the things that we as a district want to make sure we’re trying to be as transparent because in honesty it’s the community who allows us to do what we’re doing,” says Chenault.

Districts are allowed to decide whether they want to make a positive case public knowledge. Pinetree, Lufkin, and Tyler ISD are notifying stakeholders within the district or campus community but they tell us they will not be posting that information with the public or media.

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