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Members of the Houston board of education on Tuesday removed the district from a recently implemented COVID-19 policy after it found it presented several problems.
The option’s adoption about a month ago was aimed at reducing the number of students who were quarantined by implementing testing for those who otherwise would have been quarantined and sent home.
Dr. Allen Moss said it presented problems keeping up with testing of those who might have had a close contact with a positive case. In some cases, testing waits of two or three hours resulted on campus for students. Others chose not to participate and were sent home anyway to quarantine.
“What we are doing doesn’t seem to be working,” Moss told the board. It had not found any positive cases.
Under the policy adopted Tuesday, the school district will work closely with the Texas County Health Department, which will report positive cases to it, as well as offer guidance on students who have been exposed to those afflicted by the virus. Under the policy put in place, the district would no longer do contact tracing or testing and that responsibility would fall to the health department. Those already quarantined will finish their required isolation period.
The board will continue to review the numbers and see if the absentee rate is high enough to merit wearing masks to keep students, teachers and staff safe. Should masking need to be considered after the new policy’s adoption, a special meeting will be held.
In recent weeks, there has been an increase in cases in the county. At the beginning of the week, five patients were hospitalized at Texas County Memorial Hospital.