EPISD issues update on mask mandate, COVID-19 protocols
Dear EPISD Family,
On Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, the El Paso ISD Board of Trustees issued a mask mandate in compliance with the local health authority order that went into effect on Aug. 19 (Order attached). On Aug. 19, 2021, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that all mask mandates could remain in effect until further notice. In response, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) also updated its guidance to reflect the ruling. As such, EPISD will continue to require that all students, staff, and visitors wear a face mask while indoors, on school buses, and other District vehicles. In accordance with the local health authority order, masks are not required in some circumstances, such as while performing physical activity (i.e. P.E. or other athletic activities). Any student or staff member not in compliance with this mask mandate, unless otherwise administratively exempted by the order, will be addressed in accordance with established disciplinary procedures aligned with the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook or other district policies regarding student and employee conduct.
The TEA also provided further guidance for quarantining students. We will continue to follow our updated protocols for close contact exposures made effective on Aug. 19. For clarification, students who are determined to be close contact exposures who are not vaccinated, may only continue attending school if: they are asymptomatic; are administered a COVID-19 test at the campus (or a facility of the parent’s choice) on the fifth day of exposure and receive a negative COVID-19 result on such test. Screening for asymptomatic students will be enhanced. If the student/parent does not agree to testing or providing a negative test result dated between the fifth and seventh day after exposure, the student will be treated in the same manner as a positive case for the purposes of quarantining.
We understand that the frequent changes and revisions to current guidance can be confusing. However, it is our intent to keep you informed as guidance is provided in this very fluid environment. We continue to work with local and state authorities and will provide further guidance as the situation warrants. Our COVID-19 dashboard can be viewed here.
Thank you for your continued support in keeping our community safe and our schools open. You can reach out to us with any questions via the CONTACT US section on our website.