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Comal ISD Drops All COVID-19 Requirements after TEA Issues New Guidance

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Comal ISD Drops All COVID-19 Requirements after TEA Issues New Guidance

Starting Saturday, Comal ISD students and staff are no longer required to wear masks or social distance. Image of first-year Bill Brown Elementary School Principal Ashley Jackson courtesy of Comal ISD.

Starting Saturday, Comal ISD students, staff and parents can forget about COVID-19 requirements for quarantining, face coverings, social distancing and crowd capacity.

In an email to parents late this afternoon, Comal ISD Supt. Andrew Kim said the state has lifted COVID-19 health-and-safety requirements for schools. The district will follow this week’s guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding COVID-19 restrictions implemented during the pandemic last year.

To see that document, click here.

“This means that starting with our summer activities and into next fall, our schools will look like they did before March 2020,” he said. “Health screeners will no longer be part of your morning routine and plexiglas will no longer be part of the decor. We will have full clasrooms for learning, full stadiums for fans, and full performing arts centers for music ensembles, theater and other performances. Students will be able to participate in extracurricular activities without wearing masks, standing three feet from a teammate, or other limitations.”

Gov. Greg Abbott’s May 18 executive order GA-36 goes into effect Saturday. It bans schools districts and “governmental entities” in Texas from requiring masks.

Over the last five months, nearly 2,700 students and staff received their COVID-19 vaccinations through district events, and many other were vaccinated through other providers, Kim said. Another 200 will be vaccinated later this month.

Students who wish to continue wearing masks may do so, he said. The district also will continue many of the cleaning practices it implemented last year.

However, if the district receives information about a lab-confirmed positive test in a student, teacher or staff member, it will report that information to Comal County’s Public Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

“Once again, I thank you for your patience over the last year as well as your encouragement and support as it has been a challenging journey,” he said.

On March 9, Comal ISD’s board of trustees sparked controversy when they voted to rescind the district’s mask policy at a special March 9 meeting — their first in nine years — giving parents less than 24 hours to prepare for that change in COVID-19 policy.

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