HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — As schools prepare to return to in-person learning changes are being made to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in schools. However, in Texas, there are certain guidelines that cannot be enforced by local, school authorities.
In May, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a mandate prohibiting counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities and government officials from requiring masks.
Several districts in the RGV have taken action and are joining a lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott for the ability to enforce masks at a local level.
La Joya ISD was the first district in the RGV to issues a mask mandate for all students, staff, teachers, and visitors. Other districts have started to follow.
Below is an interactive map with the latest information from each school district, zoom in to look for your district:
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) updated its COVID-19 health guidelines for on-campus instruction, non-UIL sports, and overall student activities on August 5.
The guidelines mentioned Texas school districts would not be required to conduct contact tracing this year if a student contracts COVID-19.
Reaction now from @GovAbbott to @AustinISD requiring masks.— Will DuPree (@willrdupree) August 10, 2021
The statement from his press secretary suggests legal action may be taken to stop the district’s mask mandate. @KXAN_News pic.twitter.com/Dj9F9X7RGO
Gov. Abbott issued the above statement to KXAN following the decision of Austin ISD to implement the use of masks in their district.
The TEA also said a district should notify parents if it learns of a student who has been in close contact with someone with the virus. But with the relaxation of contact tracing, broad notifications will not be mandatory, reported The Texas Tribune.
Thursday, Aug. 12, ValleyCentral held a discussion with local superintendents and health experts to answer your questions. To watch click here.
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Editor’s note: This story will continue to be updated.