Texas Education Agency: Local districts can determine mask policy, teachers and staff eligible for vaccines immediately

Texas Education Agency: Local districts can determine mask policy, teachers and staff eligible for vaccines immediately
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Texas Education Agency has announced updates to their public health guidance for Texas public schools, saying local school boards have the authority to set mask policy for their district, following Governor Abbott’s lifting of the state mask mandate.

Gov. Abbott’s executive order lifting certain restrictions implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 will take effect Wednesday, March 10.

Also, effective today, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced teachers, child care workers and education staff will be immediately eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. The federal directive defined the people eligible as “those who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.”

Read the full release from the TEA, below:

On March 2, 2021, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34 which addresses the statewide wearing of face coverings (i.e., masks), which takes effect March 10, 2021. TEA’s authority to implement operational requirements for public schools remains in effect (e.g., TEA’s Public Health Guidance).

As a result of the lifting of the order on masks, TEA has updated its Public Health Guidance. Under this updated guidance, a public school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy.

TEA has also made updates related to surface cleaning requirements.

Additionally, the Department of State Health Services announced today that educators and school support staff are eligible for vaccines effective immediately. See this link for more information.

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