AUSTIN, Texas — On Friday, Texas school districts will start reporting positive COVID-19 cases to the state, Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath said on a call.
Schools will have until Sept. 8 to report cases since the start of the academic year.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will publish cases by district starting the end of September.
Districts will only have to report cases of COVID-19 that occurred on campus. Off-campus cases, such as those participating in virtual learning, do not have to be reported.
These details come after DSHS and TEA said last week they would start releasing this information soon. The new reporting requirements do not impact reporting that was already happening.
KVUE reached out to DSHS to confirm whether it plans to publish case data for individual schools as well as school districts.
A spokesperson told KVUE, “The planning for the collection and reporting of this information is ongoing.”
A KVUE investigation earlier this month revealed Texas wasn’t tracking COVID-19 cases at schools.
What does the school do if a person is COVID-19 positive?
If there is a person who was on campus who later learns that they are COVID-19 positive, then the school is required to notify its local health department.
The school must close off the areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected, unless more than seven days have already passed since that person was on campus, the TEA said.
Schools must notify all teachers, staff and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participated in any on-campus activities, according to the education guidance.
The notification must be consistent with legal confidentiality requirements.
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