Local health officials release updated order for school districts and private schools in El Paso



EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Public Health officials have issued an updated order for all independent school districts and private schools in El Paso County for the reopening of on-campus instruction.

Officials said the order goes into effect, Thursday, July 9.

Health and area school system officials met earlier this week to talk about preventative measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Health officials said the situation regarding COVID-19 in El Paso is rapidly evolving with observed rapid rate of transmission through community spread, health officials are recommending the following guidance to local schools:

  • All school systems (public and private) shall not re-open schools for on-campus, face-to-face instruction until after September 7, 2020.
  • Virtual instruction shall be permitted as per a school system’s own plan.
  • To the extent permitted under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), and consistent with the procedures required under the federal regulations and state rules implementing the IDEA, all children with special healthcare needs that are considered medically fragile under the IDEA shall not return to school for on-campus, face-to-face instruction, until the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Extracurricular sports and activities shall not take place until school systems re-open for on-campus instruction.
  • School systems shall develop a plan for re-opening on-campus activities and instruction and it make available to parents and the public, at least two weeks prior to reopening.

“As positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise, it is imperative that we do what is best for the safety of school children and school employees,” said City-County Local Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. “Keeping our community safe is our priority and we implore residents to continue to firmly adhere to all safety precautions to slow the spread of the virus, to include practicing social distancing, frequently washing your hands and wearing a face covering.”

The Health Order will be made available at www.epstrong.org under “Health Orders.”

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