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San Antonio-area school districts respond to statewide repeal of COVID restrictions

While Gov. Abbott is removing the statewide mask mandate, he encouraged businesses to create their own policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

SAN ANTONIO — Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that businesses will be able to open at 100 percent capacity and that he will be removing a statewide mask mandate. Both restrictions will end next Wednesday, March 10. 

Abbott said that while he is removing the statewide mask mandate, he encouraged businesses to create their own policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Texas Education Agency said Tuesday they would update their guidance once the latest order from the governor goes into effect:  “Governor Abbott’s Executive Order (GA-34) takes effect next Wed., March 10, 2021. Updated public health guidance from TEA will be coming this week.” 

On Wednesday, the TEA updated their public health guidance, which continues to recommend wearing masks in school buildings.

"A public school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged," they said. "Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy."

Here's what local school districts had to say following Abbott's announcement:

Boerne ISD: "Based on this guidance from the Texas Education Agency, Boerne ISD will continue to require Students PK-12 and all Staff  to wear masks for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. To view Boerne ISD’s COVID safety requirements please click here."

North East ISD: "NEISD is aware of the Governor’s announcement. We are awaiting guidance from the Texas Education Agency and will release information to our community soon."

Northside ISD: "At this time, Northside ISD plans to continue with all of the safety protocols currently in place, including the use of face masks."

San Antonio ISD: "We are aware that the governor has lifted the statewide mandate on wearing face masks during the current pandemic. Safety remains a priority within SAISD, and today’s announcement does not change our commitment to safe and healthy environments for our students and staff. We will continue to follow our safety matrix and align with Metro Health guidelines, and we will look for further guidance from the Texas Education Agency."

Edgewood ISD: "While Edgewood ISD awaits to receive guidelines from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), we will not ease safety restrictions for our campuses or district facilities. The district will continue to follow the safety protocols in place which include social distancing and the use of face coverings. Weekly COVID-19 testing of all students and staff will also continue along with offering the vaccine to staff as more doses become available."

Harlandale ISD: "We are currently waiting for guidance from TEA on this issue. However and as of now, Harlandale ISD plans to continue enforcing that all students, staff, and visitors wear a mask at all times. The safety protocols that have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic will remain the same unless otherwise mandated by TEA."

IDEA Public Schools: "At IDEA Public Schools, we remain steadfast in the belief that our health and safety protocols have been the key to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and communities. Study after study has reaffirmed this belief, and we will continue to operate under the latest recommendations from the CDC, and local and state health authorities, in an effort to keep our scholars and communities safe.”

Judson ISD: "Judson ISD is committed to the safety of all staff and students. We will continue the district’s COVID protocols at this time to provide a safe learning environment for our community."

Pearsall ISD: "Out of an abundance of caution and safety for our faculty and staff, I sent notification to the PISD community on the same day that face masks would still be required in our schools and at all school functions. In addition, I made contact with county representatives in LaSalle and Frio County to stress the importance of making the Covid-19 vaccine available to any faculty and staff who have not received the vaccine and are not on one of the eligibility lists."

Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD: "This afternoon Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34 which modified state mandates for face coverings. This new order takes effect on March 10, 2021. Face coverings for all staff, students, and visitors to SCUC ISD facilities will continue to be required pending further guidance from the Texas Education Agency."

Southwest ISD: "We understand that Governor Greg Abbott has announced lifting the statewide mask requirement. During this time, and to ensure the safety of our families, we will continue to follow our COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks. SWISD campuses and facilities will continue to follow safety COVID-19 protocols and practices until we hear from our commissioner and local health leaders to make the best decisions for our families. Thank you."

This list may be updated to reflect other school districts' responses.

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