What You Need to Know About the Texas Executive Order for Contact Tracing

August 31, 2021

State of Texas Executive Order GA-38 Necessitates the Need for Robust Contact Tracing and Quarantine Tracking Tools for K-12 School Districts

On August 19th, 2021, the State of Texas released updated COVID-19 guidelinesUntitled design-Aug-31-2021-08-01-52-54-PM under Executive Order GA-38 in regards to contact tracing and quarantine tracking in school districts.  The updated orders include the following required actions:

  • Districts must notify the local health department as well as the Texas Department of State Health Services of any positive COVID-19 cases for any teacher, staff member, student, or visitor who has been at the school.

  • Campuses must also notify all students, teachers, staff, and families of all students in a classroom or extracurricular or after-school program cohort when a positive COVID-19 case is detected among someone who had contact with that group of people.

  • Students who have tested positive, are suspected of being sick,  or are actively sick must be excluded from school and extracurricular activities. 

[See Also: At-Risk Dashboard Helps Teachers Identify Students in Need]

Although these new orders are very similar to guidelines that were in place during the height of the COVID pandemic last school year, many districts did not expect to have to continue contact tracing and quarantine tracking in the 2021-2022 school year.  

With the new school year just beginning for many districts, having to also deal with closing the gaps on learning loss, the demand for providing virtual instruction for quarantined students, the added task to continue contact tracing and quarantine tracking is a massive undertaking especially for smaller districts who may not have as many dedicated resources.

When a student is confirmed as a positive COVID-19 case it can take hours for a district to run contact tracing and then contact/inform all of the students, teachers, and cohorts of this positive exposure. 

SchoolStatus, however, has built-in contact tracing and quarantine tracking tools that can provide contact tracing in one simple step. Use the contact tracing button to generate a report of all of the students and teachers the positive case may have been in contact with based on their schedule.

Campuses can log a  positive case, exposure, symptomatic, or close contact on the quarantine tracking page in SchoolStatus and determine when the student can return to in-person instruction.

To notify all close contacts per the new guidelines, campuses and districts can use SchoolStatus’ built-in communications tools to send group messages to those families and teachers as identified in the Contact Tracing Report. Messages can be sent via call, text, or email with written communication being able to translate into over 100 languages–ensuring you are reaching all families in their chosen language of communication.

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Districts can ensure they are compliant with the new orders as all communication is tracked and recorded directly in SchoolStatus providing invaluable documentation.

By employing software platforms to assist with contact tracing and quarantine tracking requirements, Texas school districts can ensure they are compliant with the new state regulations and also unburden their support staff, freeing up time to focus on accelerating learning for the new school year.

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SchoolStatus is the district-wide communication tool that integrates key student data in order to increase communication among educators, district administrators, and student families. The company’s solution aggregates individual student data, such as state assessments, attendance, and grades in an easy-to-visualize format and offers the option to communicate with student families via call, text, or email. Through SchoolStatus, millions of communications have occurred on the classroom, campus, and district levels. For more information about SchoolStatus, visit www.schoolstatus.com.

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