Dallas ISD Will Contact Trace During 2021-2022 School Year
This morning Dallas ISD held a news conference announcing a mask requirement for all staff, students and visitors effective tomorrow. They said this is in response to the CDC and Dallas County Health officials raising the COVID-19 alert to level red. Hospitalizations are rising at the fastest rate since the pandemic began, among all age groups, including children and the mask requirement is necessary to protect everyone.
Dallas ISD says the requirement is temporary as they monitor the COVID situation in the community.
In regards to contact tracing, Dallas ISD will continue contact tracing in the 2021-2022 school year. If there is a positive case identified at a campus, the school’s COVID-19 Response Team will identify and notify close contacts.
From the Dallas ISD website: Effective Tuesday, August 10, to protect staff and students from the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, Dallas ISD is temporarily requiring all staff, students and visitors to wear masks when on district property.
The announcement comes as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Dallas County Health officials have raised the COVID-19 alert to level red and reported that hospitalizations are rising at the fastest rate since the pandemic began, among all age groups, including children. Students under 12 are not eligible for a vaccine, however, school attendance is mandatory, and virtual learning is not an option at this time.
In keeping with the top priority of safeguarding the health and well-being of staff and students, the district will continue to provide masks and sanitizer at district facilities and will continue contact tracing.
Governor Abbott’s order does not limit the district’s rights as an employer and educational institution to establish reasonable and necessary safety rules for its staff and students. Dallas ISD remains committed to the safety of our students and staff.
Texas State Teachers Association President Ovidia Molina released the following statement:
The Texas State Teachers Association applauds the Dallas Independent School District for putting the health and safety of its students, employees and local community first and requiring mask use in its schools. We urge other school districts to join Dallas ISD and ignore Gov. Abbott’s politically motivated order prohibiting mask mandates.
We agree with Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa that it is within a school district’s discretion to take steps to ensure the health and safety of its students and employees. We believe it also is the governor’s responsibility to do everything he can to ensure the health and safety of all his constituents, or at least get out of the way so local officials can.
Once again, we call on the governor to withdraw his order. It is important for students and educators to return to the classroom, but they must do so with safety precautions because the pandemic is still dangerous. Health experts have urged the continued use of masks in public schools.