SAN ANTONIO — Tuesday night, Metro Health Medical Director Dr. Junda Woo issued an amended health directive after the coronavirus risk in Bexar County schools rose into the "Red Zone."
Per the order, in-person learning is not recommended at this time; new guidance for schools from pre-kindergarten through college was also added to the directive. This comes as Bexar County is now seeing over 1,100 new cases of COVID-19 per day in the past seven days.
“The schools indicator bar is in the Red Zone, which means in-person learning is not recommended,” said Dr. Woo. “Our data show that schools are less risky places than we thought at the start of the pandemic, but we also know that avoiding extra risks will help contain our current surge. We urge parents to choose remote learning until we can get over this hump.”
Here are some of the main points of the new directive:
- Colleges and universities are asked to remain virtual
- In-person learning should be highly restricted and take place in pods of no more than six
- Staff teaching in person should be tested
Right now, Woo says that in-person learning should be focused on special education students and those without reliable access to online learning. When the risk level drops back into the yellow zone, pre-k and elementary school students will be added to the group prioritized for in-person learning. She also recommends increasing capacity from 25% to 50% when that happens.
While Metro Health has issued this guidance, the Texas Education Agency gives districts the authority to determine if in-person learning will close due to local conditions.
Wednesday morning, North East ISD posted on its Facebook page that the district is aware of the guidance from Metro Health, but has no plans to change its current learning models.
KENS 5 is also awaiting response from the other large school districts in the San Antonio area.
As always, students are reminded to wash their hands, wear masks, practice physical distancing.