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How to find out if someone at your kid's school has COVID-19 in Texas

The Texas Education Agency requires schools to notify families and staff if there is a test-confirmed case of coronavirus at their school.

HOUSTON — As parents send their kids back to school in-person in Texas, one question many parents have is: how will I know if there is a COVID-19 case at my child's school?

The Texas Education Agency announced on August 20 that it would track COVID-19 cases in each school district in the state. School districts have until September 8 to report any cases that occurred prior to that date. They will use an online form to report cases to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The TEA also requires schools and/or districts to report any confirmed case to families and staff of that school or district, so make sure you get e-mails from your child's district and school so you do not miss any important updates.

Schools will also report data on a weekly basis to DSHS. The details of what data will be available are still being worked out, a TEA spokesperson said.

A TEA spokesperson said that data is "historical," meaning, the data posted was collected over the previous seven days. That spokesperson said the reporting process begins on Sept. 8, with results posting on the DSHS website by Sept. 15. KHOU 11 News is waiting for a response from DSHS to confirm that, and will update this story when that information becomes available. 

"Schools will still have to submit a separate form to report to their local health entity individual information for purposes of public health actions such as contact tracing," the TEA wrote in a memo to staff.

Some districts can choose to provide more information to families and staff, so long as it does not violate FERPA or HIPAA guidelines. Conroe ISD set up its own COVID-19 dashboard to let people know how many students and staff test positive, and how long they have been quarantined or isolated.

For more detailed information on how the TEA is gathering info on COVID-19 in schools, click here.

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