Masks remain in place for Orangefield ISD

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2021

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PRESS RELEASE — Recently, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, modified his executive order GA-34 in relation to face coverings and masks due to a reduction in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations for the disease beginning March 10, 2021.

Although we believe this is a positive sign in the fight against COVID-19, many schools including Orangefield ISD have worked diligently with students, faculty, staff, parents, community, and our board of trustees to protect everyone from the spread of this disease using a variety of health-related protocols and procedures which include face coverings and masks. Based on these practices, our schools have remained open and operational during this challenging time.

Below are the two most important reasons why our district will keep the mask protocol in place for the time being:

Governor’s Executive Order GA-34 (number 6) March 2, 2021
“Public schools may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard of health protocols found in, guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).”

It should be noted that TEA did not rescind the mask mandate in their recent health protocol update as of March 4, 2021.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have not made any changes to the quarantine and close contacts guidance that our state and local health departments utilize with managing COVID-19 cases.

As a district we are experiencing face covering and mask exhaustion. However, in order to safely continue operating efficiently and providing a quality education with support programs that include: graduation, prom, softball, baseball, track and field, and many more activities, it is necessary to adhere to TEA and the CDC guidance at this time.

Our district appreciates your understanding related to this current issue and as a district we will continue to monitor changes to the protocols and procedures for COVID-19.

“All of us are fatigued by this pandemic, now almost exactly a year to the day when the Department of State Health Services declared a public health disaster. But if we keep pushing, day after day using sound public health practices…I’m confident the end of the pandemic will soon be in sight.” Commissioner of Education, Mike Morath.