HCISD COVID guidelines restricted by governor

By Sahar Chmais 

Hays CISD released its COVID-19 guidelines for the upcoming school year shortly before the new CDC guidelines came out, which recommend vaccinated people should also wear masks indoors.

The Texas State Teachers Association asked Governor Greg Abbott to reverse his executive order, GA-36, which prohibits the requirement of masks on school campuses. The governor refused. The association wants public schools to be able to require masks for students and staff. 

Although the district cannot enforce a masking guideline, Hays CISD strongly encourages masks for individuals who are not vaccinated. 

Hays CISD’s district guidelines are restricted by Abbott’s May executive order. Additionally, students and employees will not be required to get a vaccine to be on campus. 

While the district cannot enforce certain safety measures it will continue to focus on other safety protocols, such as thorough cleaning and sanitization. The district will also monitor and report any positive COVID-19 cases. 

There will be no virtual learning this year, as the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has not allocated funds for the program. Some state representatives, including Erin Zwiener, signed a letter to the governor and TEA Commissioner Mike Morath, asking to give families the option for virtual learning.

Dripping Springs ISD has not released its upcoming school year’s COVID-19 safety measures. The district is still fine-tuning the plan, as it continues to receive input from families. DSISD’s finalized protocol is expected next week. 

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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