By Sahar Chmais
Since Governor Greg Abbott announced that he will remove the mask mandate, many parents were left worried about how it would affect schools. After one day of the announcement, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) came up with a solution – masks will remain mandatory.
Nothing in the TEA guideline will change in effect to Abbott’s Executive Order.
“Nothing in the updated TEA guidance changes anything that is currently happening in Hays CISD schools regarding COVID safety protocols,” said Hays CISD Chief Communication Officer Tim Savoy. “So, we will keep doing what we have been doing. The district; in concert with local, state, and federal health authorities; maintains its belief that masks are an essential tool in helping to keep the virus in check.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced that educators, teachers and school support staff, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The list includes teachers, bus drivers, child nutrition employees, custodians, school nurses and other school employees.
COVID-19 vaccines are still not available for children. Vaccination companies are working on getting COVID-19 vaccine trials arranged, starting with children 12 and older. Once that age group is approved, trials will incrementally span to younger children.
Presuming vaccines are safe for children, they may be able to begin receiving the vaccine as early as September, according to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Different companies are moving at different paces on arranging and finishing the trials.
“It has been a challenging year for school district staff, families, parents, and students,” Savoy said. “But, together, the Hays CISD community and greater school district family have been taking care of each other. For that, we are stronger.”