DSHS and TEA Launch Webpage with COVID-19 Case Data Reported by Texas Public Schools
Reported cases represent less than half-a-percent of students who have returned to campus
AUSTIN, Texas – September 17, 2020 – In collaboration with the Texas Education agency (TEA), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) today posted on the DSHS website the statewide number of cases of COVID-19 reported by Texas public schools. The reported count of on-campus student cases of COVID-19 in the state’s public schools is 2,344 out of an estimated 1.1 million students who have been on campus for instruction or activities since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. The total count of on-campus staff cases during the same period is 2,175.
The number of student and staff COVID-19 cases in Texas public schools will be updated each week. Beginning next week, it will include data by school district. TEA will link to the data from TEA’s COVID-19 website.
TEA previously directed all school districts to submit information about COVID-19 cases going back to the start of the school year. Information is submitted via an online form each Monday by those school systems that were notified in the previous week that a student, teacher, or staff member who participates in any on-campus activity has tested positive for a current COVID-19 infection. Antibody tests, which indicate a previous infection, are not required to be reported.
The data will provide an overview of the burden of disease in Texas schools over time and inform public policy decisions about COVID-19. School districts and other local authorities will continue to be the best source of the most current and specific information about cases in their schools.
Reporting this information to the state does not replace the legal requirement that schools notify public health officials in their area of all cases. Additionally, as per TEA guidance, schools will still be required to inform all parents, teachers, and campus staff of any positive cases tied to their on-campus instruction or activities.