It is spring break for educators and students, but not for the coronavirus

Just as Texas students, their families and educators are either enjoying spring break or preparing for spring break, the coronavirus threat has intensified in Texas with several reports of people confirmed or suspected of being infected.

Many universities, including some in Texas, have either converted to online instruction or are considering that option, and at least two Texas school districts have temporarily halted classes because of possible coronavirus risks. Other districts are canceling field trips, restricting travel and wondering what they should do next. Fears also have been expressed in the media about children and educators becoming infected with the coronavirus during spring break travels and returning to their campuses.

The National Education Association and the Texas Education agency both have issued guidance for educators, drawn largely from the health experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

You can find general guidance on COVID-19 from the CDC, including recommendations for personal hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection, on this NEA site. The Texas Education Agency provides guidance for school districts on how to handle students whom they suspect of having serious health concerns or return to campus after having traveled to countries with widespread infections. TEA also strongly encourages districts and charter schools to use spring break to “deep clean” their facilities, using cleaning guidance from the CDC.

NEA and TSTA are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our members and their students, and we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as available. If you are getting ready to take a well-deserved spring break, enjoy it, but be careful.

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