Dallas, TX – Dallas ISD extended the mask mandate policy within the Dallas ISD schools as a result of the surge in new Covid-19 cases in the area in the last couple of weeks.
According to Dallas ISD, the classes in Dallas ISD are set to return on Wednesday and the current mask mandate will be in place until the spring break.
Dallas ISD officials also changed some other pandemic polices. That said, those who come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 no longer have to quarantine if fully vaccinated and don’t have any symptoms.
Students, teachers and school staff who have been in contact with someone with Covid-19 or have Covid-19 symptoms can be tested by the district nurses.
While the surge in cases continues in the North Texas area, people are having hard times to find home Covid-19 tests in the local pharmacies, while others are waiting for hours in lines at the testing sites. This is expected to last in the upcoming weeks too.
“Testing has become real important,” said Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “I had to get a test over the holidays and I could only buy one at a Walgreens and it was very difficult to even find one.”
However, Dallas ISD officials confirmed this won’t be an issue in the schools where nurses are expected to have enough tests supply to test students and staff in the upcoming period.
“We’re not requiring them to have a test, but we’re asking to comply if they have symptoms, then take test. We’ll see what happens,” Hinojosa said.
The decision for extending the mask mandate comes as a result of the rising number of cases in the Dallas area as the Dallas County got back at code red alert level for COVID-19 spread. With wearing masks in schools, Dallas ISD officials believe it’s a measure that will slow the spread of the virus not just in students and school staff, but also in general.
“Hopefully by that time it will get better, but that would have been two years now that we’ve been in that situation. Two long years,” he said.
In addition to the changes, the 10-day quarantine remains in place for positive Covid-19 cases who will develop symptoms.
Other school districts in the North Texas are also updating their protocols. Grand Prairie says it’s doing the same while waiting for the TEA to update any new guidelines heading into the spring semester.
Fort Worth ISD confirmed it’s lowered the isolation period down to five days with a positive case.
New school districts’ measures are following the latest CDC’s measures with lowering the quarantine period from ten to five days for positive cases with no symptoms. Despite the spread of the Omicron variant, virtual learning is not an option anymore.