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Texas just made a major change to its rules for COVID-19 cases in schools

Texas Education Agency released a new guidance for children who are going back to school

A face mask lies on the ground during a prom held in El Paso, Texas.
A surgical mask lies on the ground during a prom held at the Grace Gardens Event Center in El Paso, Texas, on Friday, May 7, 2021. The Texas Education Agency has released new guidance for schools on how to handle situations where children test positive for COVID-19.
Paul Ratje, Associated Press

The Texas Education Agency has released new guidance for schools on how to handle situations where children test positive for COVID-19 ... and it’s more of a list of things not to do.

Per WFAA-TV, the Texas Education Agency’s new guidance advised the following:

  • Schools do not have to tell parents about a positive case of COVID-19.
  • Schools do not have to conduct any contact tracing among children when someone tests positive for COVID-19.
  • If schools do contract tracing for a positive case, parents can still send their child to school — even if they have close contact with an infected student.

Does the delta variant hurt children?

Experts have been warning recently that the delta variant is spreading to children. The variant can infect children and cause severe disease.

Utah epidemiologist Dr. Leisha Nolen told the Utah State Board of Education in Salt Lake City that models show COVID-19 cases will spike in the fall among school-age children.

  • “If we take and predict what we expect is going to happen, these modelers who use math can tell us that we should expect somewhere between an even number where we are right now to even four times as much. So we expect by October these numbers to possibly go up quite significantly. So we think there will be quite a few cases in the K through 12 age group,” Nolen said.

What does the CDC suggest for children?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommendations for keeping children safe from the novel coronavirus, especially when they’re in school. The list of advice continues:

  • Eligible children should get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • There should be universal masking in schools.
  • Children should keep 3 feet of distance between each other.
  • Schools should tout hand-washing and disinfecting of surfaces.
  • Schools should embrace contact tracing if there is a positive case.
  • Infected children should stay home if they’re sick.
  • Children should stay home from school if they have been infected or have been in close contact with someone who was infected.

The CDC recommends universal indoor masks for teachers, staff, schools and visitors for K-12 schools because of the delta variant.