CONROE, Texas — UPDATE: Conroe ISD now says they will require students who test positive for COVID to stay home. The change comes two days after saying that students who tested positive but didn’t have a fever of over 100 could stay in school.
District officials released the following statement Thursday evening:
“I wanted to follow up and let you know that we continue to work with our health authorities and are confident a solution will be in place by the start of the school year. Students who are COVID-19 positive will be excluded from attendance until they have met the criteria to end isolation.
“This is based on continued conversations with our health authorities.”
Optimistic parents still believe this school year can be a lot less stressful than last.
“I just hope that the kids can start getting back to some type of normalcy,” Conroe ISD parent Victoria Hollon said.
Hollon has two children in the district that revealed this year’s protocols will not require COVID positive students to stay home.
But there is at least one exception.
“If they have a 100-degree fever or higher, they can be mandated to stay home,” said a district official during Tuesday night’s board meeting.
“It’s going to require everyone to do their part,” CISD Superintendent Dr. Curtis Null said. “And, if they don’t, it won’t work and our schools won’t stay open.”
Parents like Hollon told KHOU 11 News they’ll treat COVID like any other illness.
“I know if my kids got the virus, I would not send them to school,” said Hollon. “I would keep them home to keep everybody safe.”
Conroe ISD said neither the Texas Administrative Code nor Department of State Health Services currently list COVID as an “exclusionary” disease which can result in automatic isolation.
But it’s checking with the state for any clarification.
Meanwhile, other districts, including Houston ISD, are still formulating specifics of their back-to-school protocols.
“In-person instruction is critical for our students’ growth and success,” said HISD Superintendent Millard House II. “But we must almost be safe.”
He did announce in a video message that things like enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and limited visitation will remain in place.
“I can promise you this: in this district, we’re doing everything we can to ensure students are safe, healthy and ready to learn,” House said.
Conroe ISD plans to deliver more details on the new school year during a live YouTube event next Wednesday.
Multiple districts told us it’s important to keep in mind that a lot remains in flux, like last year, with changing health conditions and medical advice.