AUSTIN, Texas — One of the first Central Texas school districts to reopen is now reporting its first confirmed COVID-19 cases since returning.
According to a letter sent to parents and staff, an individual at Thrall Middle School in Williamson County has tested positive for the virus. School leaders confirmed it was a staff member and there are no cancellations of in-person learning planned at this time.
"Individuals who were in close contact with this person have been notified and will be required to follow district protocols to ensure the safety of others," said Thrall Superintendent Tommy Hooker.
Before school started, Hooker said Thrall ISD would align its protocol with direction from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
The TEA's guidelines for a lab-confirmed case in schools are below:
- If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Schools must close off 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 three days have already passed since that person was on campus.
- Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, 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 participate on any on-campus activities
Hooker added that the district would probably go to the extreme of quarantining the entire class and sending that class home, according to protocol, which would be 14 days.
On Aug. 10, 75% of students came back on campus and 25% started from home virtually.
PHOTOS: Thrall ISD students going back to class – in person
According to Thrall ISD's learning option manual, in-person instruction is two days per week with an A and B schedule. A schedule means students will learn in school on Monday and Thursday, while B schedule means students will learn on Tuesday and Friday. All students will virtually learn on Wednesdays.
The district said teachers and students are screened every day, everyone is required to wear masks in the buildings, social distancing is a must and teachers have to make sure desks are sanitized between classes.
For more Thrall ISD COVID-19 updates, click here.
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