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What's the process for Bell County students returning to in-person classes after COVID-19 screenings?

Posted at 6:41 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:41:36-04

BELL COUNTY, TX — More and more parents are choosing to send their kids to in-person classes, but what do you do if child is out sick or sent home?

Some parents are just not sure what the process is for their kids to return to school after they’ve either been out sick or sent home for not passing COVID-19 screenings.

For parents in Bell County, there is a process to go through before their student can return to in-person classes.

They either need a negative COVID-19 test, an alternate diagnosis from a doctor, or self isolate.

“Ten calendar days that we ask our students to go ahead and move from the the in-person face to face, to becoming a remote learner during that time," said Taina Maya, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer for KISD.

Positive or negative results have to come from the right type of test in Bell County.

“If you do just one of those fast test or rapid test or antibody test, those are not valid. It has to be that specific type of test,” said Michael Novotny, Superintendent for Salado ISD.

There are also steps you need to take if you have been in close contact with someone that has COVID.

“If you’ve been identified as having close contact with a COVID-19 individual, that’s 14 calendar days you'll be in a remote or isolated setting, so, we move you to remote learning," said Maya.

Schools do have the protocols in place, but some parents say it also falls on their shoulders to keep everyone safe.

“If my kid starts running a fever, if they start having any of the symptoms whatsoever, I'm going to keep them home. I'm going to do the schooling at home. I'm going to keep your kid safe know that you’re going to keep my kid safe helps me feel better," said Rebekah Moon, a KISD parent.

Just like the individual schools and parents, the separate school districts in Bell County are working together to keep everyone safe.

“Every Wednesday at three o’clock we have a meeting with all of them and so we collaborate extensively on the protocols and procedures. So, you’ll find all the school districts in Bell County are following the same protocols," said Novotny.

All students must attend remote learning while they are required stay home until they meet one of three requirements for returning to in-person classes.

Each district is keeping parents informed of COVID-19 numbers and further protocols through either their online dashboards or daily emails.