ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (Nexstar)- In a news conference Thursday, Ector County ISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri said parents will be notified if their child is exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19.
Area parents took to Facebook earlier this week to express their concern after the Texas Education Agency said last Thursday it will not be requiring school districts to conduct contact tracing this year if a student contracts COVID-19. The TEA made that announcement ahead of ECISD students returning to school, saying districts must report positive cases to their local health departments and the state, but contact tracing will not be required because of “the data from 2020-21 showing very low COVID-19 transmission rates in a classroom setting and data demonstrating lower transmission rates among children than adults.”
However, Muri said ECISD nurses were adamant they wanted to provide contact tracing for the kids and staff on their campuses.
“We are using a contact tracing protocol; our nurses were very vocal in our providing contact tracing for all of our students. So, if we do have a student or staff member that tests positive during the day, we will contact trace and notify families if your child has been exposed to the virus at school,” Dr. Muri said.
In addition to contact tracing, ECISD is taking steps districtwide to try and stop the spread of the virus.
“We want to be part of the solution and we are committed to encouraging safe behaviors,” Dr. Muri said.
The district is asking students and staff to stay home if they are feeling sick. Additionally, masks and hand sanitizer are available on buses and at school entrances. If anyone on campus becomes ill during the day, nurses will have COVID-19 rapid tests available for anyone who wants to be tested. However, Dr. Muri said students cannot be tested without parent permission. And, as with other districts across Texas, ECISD is recommending that students and staff wear masks.
In the first three days of school, ECISD reported 24 staff members and 12 students out with the virus.