Instructions for Quarantine
When schools learn that someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 was on campus, schools must identify that person’s close contacts at the school based on the CDC definition of close contacts. Schools must then notify those close contacts of the exposure and the need to quarantine. The close contacts should not return to school or campus activities until the 14-day quarantine period is over. The “Instructions for Quarantine” is designed for schools to provide to families of students needing to quarantine to provide them more information.
Guidance for Returning to School
The Austin-Travis County Health Authority adopted new emergency rules that relate to reopening schools to promote the health and safety of Austin-Travis County residents in the fight against COVID-19.
After collaborating with school district leaders, Austin Public Health also released additional guidance on reopening for Austin-Travis County schools. This document helps school boards and administrators understand what they can do to keep students and staff safe as the school year re-starts.
- The practices described in the guidance document are essential baseline actions in order to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19 for students, staff, and families. The recommendations include additional strategies that schools can use to minimize the spread of COVID-19. All recommended practices will not be possible in every setting and should be tailored to each school or district as appropriate.
- The guidance in the document is based on the best available evidence at this time. APH guidance for schools may be updated throughout the school year as new information becomes available.
Resources for Returning to School
Resources for Families
Many of the determinations related to school openings lie with school boards and school systems. Please contact your school administration for specific information about your school’s back-to-school plan.
Legal guidelines for returning to school are determined by the Texas Governor’s Office, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and the Texas Education Association. Determinations by these entities overrule any orders or rules set by local authorities.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some parents are having their children join learning “pods.” These pods may take a variety of forms, including but not limited to:
- Facilitated Pods - A facilitator, who may or may not be a certified teacher, supervises and assists children while they engage in their school’s remote learning activities.
- Co-Ops - Parents from two or more families take turns hosting all the children in their homes for remote learning.
- Micro-schools - A certified teacher teaches the children who may not be enrolled in a formal school or using a school’s remote curriculum.
- Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care - An informal care arrangement with a family member, friend, or neighbor to care for school-age children from one or more families during the day.
- Community Learning Spaces - Facilitated by community organizations, groups of parents, faith-based organizations, or public entities that provide in-person support to students during times of remote instruction.
Similar to COVID-19 health concerns with children going back to school, there are health and safety considerations for learning pods. It is not possible to reduce all risk of COVID-19 in pods.
Learn more about joining a learning pod in English, Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese Simplified, and Chinese Traditional, Korean, Urdu, Burmese or hosting a learning pod in English, Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Korean, Urdu, Burmese.