Return To School Guidance For Schools
Maintaining the health and well-being of the students, teachers, administrators, nurses and all staff is of utmost importance for El Paso health and school officials during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, public health and school officials have worked closely together to jointly determine the safest approach to re-open schools. The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has conducted several activities in preparation for returning to school, in particular in-person school instruction, to support school re-opening efforts, including:
- Ongoing communication and meetings with school administrators, school nurses, and other school staff
- Development of guidelines for administrators
- Establishment of thresholds for re-opening
- Review of school plans and provision of recommendations
- Dedicating an email address and Points of Contact for submission of schools re-opening plans for review by City of El Paso Department of Public Health, or for other questions and inquiries: Schools_Inquiries@elpasotexas.gov
- Development of several COVID-19 prevention power point presentations for school administrators and other staff for either self-administration or to be presented by DPH Education Task Force educators, upon request at: Schools_Inquiries@elpasotexas.gov
- Development of guidelines and flow of activities for reporting and investigation of positive cases
- Request for schools to establish Points of Contact with DPH for investigation and contact tracing purposes
Please click on this link to review the thresholds established to assist school administrators in making decisions on re-opening.
The City-County Health Authority wrote a letter to the Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath recommending pausing the return of students to schools for in-person instruction, and scaling-back the number of students currently receiving in-person instruction if the situation continues to worsen. Read the letter.
Reporting COVID-19 Cases
Schools are required to report COVID-19 cases to the Department of Public Health and can fill out the “School District Report Form” and submit the document via fax or email at the following:
Fax: (915) 212-0170
School Closure Guidance
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) in collaboration with El Paso area public and private schools have created a Guidance document on school closures for in-person instruction that includes decision thresholds:
Return to school
The following are educational materials for area school teachers and staff for returning to school as well as a flow chart and description of joint and coordinated management for COVID-19 case investigations and contact tracing. The information is based on data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding COVID-19 prevention, investigation and containment.
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health, The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage schools to follow the recommendations below:
Cleaning & Hand-washing
The TEA helps coordinate the flow of information from the state to districts, help districts solve problems, and provide guidance that will aid in districts’ decision-making.
Texas Education Agency Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance