Only 53% of Texans 12 and over are vaccinated, and you can see that. “We have about 90% more cases this week than we did last week, and almost ten times the number we had a month ago, ”said Jennifer Shuford, state epidemiologist in charge. In North Texas, hospital admission rates for COVID-19 have increased nearly 300% in the last month.
In this regard – and since all children under the age of 12 are unvaccinated – Abbott has blocked the school mask requirement, one of the key tools to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But it’s like Texas officials looked at this and thought, “Sure, but is there anything else we can do to make sure the virus spreads faster in schools?”
Under new guidelines from the Texas Education Agency, schools no longer need to notify parents if the school has had a COVID case. You don’t need to contact Trace. And when they do a contact tracing, they don’t have to keep close contacts of positive cases out of school for a quarantine period – it is up to the parents whether this happens.
Texas elementary schools are required by law to notify parents if someone has lice in their child’s classroom. But COVID-19? Nope.
The CDC guidelines for safe personal learning include vaccinations for eligible individuals, universal indoor masking, at least one meter between students, screening tests to quickly identify cases, ventilation, hand washing and cough and sneeze protection, staying home when sick and be tested, contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine as well as cleaning and disinfection.
Texas officials looked at this list and discontinued vaccinations, masking, and contact tracing. What’s next – schools having to share desks? Prohibit hand washing? Should every child cough directly in the face at least two classmates a day?
The reason for so many policies affecting children and COVID-19 was that children are not as seriously ill as adults. Texas is determined to put this to the test.