SAN ANTONIO — School districts in Bexar County have updated their COVID-19 guidelines this week after a district court judge cleared the way for local mask mandates via a restraining order against Gov. Abbott.
A decision came down from the Texas State Supreme Court upholding a previous decision to continue allowing Bexar County's in-school mask mandate. At least, temporarily.
Here are the latest guidelines for Bexar County and San Antonio area schools:
North East Independent School District
The district announced on Tuesday that they would hold an emergency board meeting on Thursday to discuss COVID-19 and a possible mask mandate.
In the meeting, they determined masks would be mandated. The mandate takes effect on Monday and applies to all NEISD campuses. "My students need protection. I'm asking the board to please mandate masks for our little ones," a parent said in the board meeting.
As the meeting was happening, the decision came down from the Texas State Supreme Court upholding the previous decision to continue allowing Bexar County's in-school mask mandate.
San Antonio Independent School District
The district will require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, becoming the first district in Bexar County to issue a vaccine mandate for teachers and staff.
"We are being proactive to protect the health and safety of those we hold dear," a statement from the district read. SAISD will also require face masks for students and staff, in accordance with a mandate issued by Bexar County Medical Director Junda Woo last week.
Northside Independent School District
At a board meeting, officials agreed to implement a mask mandate for students and staff starting on August 23.
This is the latest move in the ongoing fight between local leaders across the state and Abbott's administration over the governor's order that banned local governments from instituting mask mandates. A trial hearing for a permanent injunction is next on the docket.
Alamo Heights Independent School District
During a special called meeting, the district board unanimously approved a motion to "continue to authorize district administration to strongly recommend mask wearing in our district and to closely monitor campus case rates in order to respond accordingly."
Judson Independent School District
Masks will be optional for students and staff, the district says. They are not required to be worn on campuses or district buildings, including school buses. However, the district says masks are highly encouraged and permitted if a person chooses to wear one. Disposable masks will be available.
"We will continue to closely monitor the situation and await the Texas Supreme Court ruling on whether the temporary injunction that was granted by the Bexar County Judge will stand," the district says.
Southwest Independent School District
The district says they will continue to work diligently to implement a plan based on the most up-to-date public health guidance, scientific data and governmental guidance. "We will continue to review, adjust, and communicate changes to our protocols and plan due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic," the release says.
If students or staff are exhibiting symptoms of COVID or receive a positive COVID- 19 test, the isolation protocol will be followed. Staff/students will be asked to remain at home until:
• 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms (when symptoms first appeared) or from the date of the test if no symptoms are experienced (asymptomatic)
• 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND
• Other symptoms have improved
Those who are exhibiting symptoms can return earlier if they meet either of the below criteria:
• Clearance by a doctor to return to school based on alternative diagnosis OR
• A negative test result from a PCR test (Click here for testing locations in Bexar County)
Harlandale Independent School District
Masks must be worn at all district campuses, offices and facilities by all students, staff and visitors, the district says.
"We take the well being of our students and staff very seriously and make it our priority, therefore we ask that you follow this requirement in order to help us protect the safety of everyone at Harlandale ISD," the district says.
Edgewood Independent School District
Effective Wednesday, August 11, all students, staff, and district visitors have been required to wear masks.
"Edgewood I.S.D. is committed to the safety and security of all students, employees, and community members and will take every available measure to ensure appropriate precautions are put into place in our schools. The District appreciates the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders as we endeavor to keep our students and staff safe," the district says.
Comal Independent School District
The wearing of face coverings is optional for staff members, students and visitors.
"While masks are optional, staff and students, particularly those under the age of 12, are encouraged to wear a face covering indoors. Disposable masks will be provided at all campuses and on all buses if requested," the district says.
Boerne Independent School District
The wearing of face masks is optional. Masks will be available at all campuses for any student requesting one.
The district says infected students, employees will be asked to quarantine for 10 calendar days from the onset of symptoms or may return earlier with a note from their doctor.
A student, employee who is not vaccinated and a member of their household is infected will be asked to quarantine for 10 calendar days from the onset of the infected person’s symptoms or may return earlier with a note from their doctor.
Contact tracing will not be conducted. Students, staff will not be required to quarantine if exposed to an infected person at school/work.
Check back for updates as some districts may update their policies.
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