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TEA will allow 14 day school closures over COVID concerns

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on campus instruction if a significant number of the staff are impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 8:49 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - New guidance by the Texas Education Agency is giving the green light for schools to make big decisions on their own when it comes to COVID-19 staffing concerns.

This new guidance by the TEA was released on November 19th.

According to the agency, schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on campus instruction for 14 days.

That’s if a significant number of the staff, that ranges from teachers to administrators at the campus, is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.

The campus can close it’s doors only after all available options have been exhausted.

However, the school is still responsible for offering an on campus instruction option for students who do not have internet access or adequate devices at home.

TEA does not say exactly what number of cases need to be confirmed to be able to put the closure in place.

The Laredo health authority Doctor Victor Trevino says allowing local schools to make that call on their own will be a helpful tool.

“Even though this a tool to address staffing shortfall for on campus education, the news is well received. It allows schools another avenue to voluntarily and temporarily close down outside of issuing a mandatory quarantine.”

Trevino says he hopes this will limit the need for him to step in and issue mandatory quarantines, which the State Health and Human Services Department looks over first.

By restricting access on campus for 14 days, TEA says it’s enough time for the virus incubation period to be completed.

For approval, schools must submit a request to the TEA.

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