GRISD put in protocol for COVID-19 prior to start of school on Wednesday

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — Prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year, Glen Rose ISD Superintendent Dr. Trig Overbo issued a letter to students and parents in regard to the district’s plan concerning COVID-19.

Overbo

“Glen Rose ISD believes it is in the best interest of our students, staff and community to begin the school year as ‘normal’ as possible,” he said in the letter. “We will continue to follow the guidance of local health and government authorities, the CDC, and Texas Education Agency to prepare for and respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation.”

School begins Wednesday, Aug. 18.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Safety, as of Tuesday, Aug. 10, there were seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Somervell County. Since Aug. 1, there have been 15 new cases reported in the county.

“We will continue ensuring our classrooms and other school facilities are frequently cleaned and disinfected to provide the safest environment for the health of our Tiger Family,” Overbo said in the letter.

Glen Rose Medical Center issued a statement this week regarding COVID-19 and the recent uptick.

“The spread of COVID-19 is surging throughout the state. Glen Rose Medical Center wants to remind you to wash your hands, do not touch your face or eyes and if you have had a known exposure to COVID-19 keep in mind you are contagious for 24-48 hours prior to becoming symptomatic. If you are not feeling well stay home, especially if you have had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19,” the statement reads.

According to GRMC, vaccinations are available at both local pharmacies in Glen Rose for individuals 18 and older.

“Like many of the hospitals across Texas, Glen Rose Medical Center has seen a significant increase in both the number of patients testing positive for COVID and the number of hospitalizations due to COVID,” said GRMC CEO Michael Honea said in a statement. “Currently, the hospital is at or near capacity, and we are holding patients that need a higher level of care but there are no ICU beds available. Our staff is working relentlessly to care for these patients in addition to an influx of other critically ill patients as well. Please help us by doing your part to wear masks indoors and even outdoors in crowded areas. Practice social distancing. Please consider vaccination.”

Overbo said Glen Rose ISD will follow the TEA’s guidelines in individuals with test-confirmed cases that have been at the school:

“If an individual who has been in a school is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

“Upon receipt of information that any teacher, staff member, student, or visitor at a school is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must submit a report to the Texas Department of State Health Services via an online form. The report must be submitted each Monday for the prior seven days (Monday-Sunday).”

And, GRISD will follow the TEA’s guidelines for students who are in close contact:

“As a reference, close contact determinations are generally based on guidance outlined by the CDC, which notes that individuals who are vaccinated are not considered close contacts. Given the data from 2020-21 showing very low COVID-19 transmission rates in a classroom setting and data demonstrating lower transmission rates among children than adults, school systems are not required to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing. If school systems are made aware that a student is a close contact, the school system should notify the student’s parents.”

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been a total of 638 cases in Somervell County with 15 deaths reported.

Per state law, GRISD cannot mandate the wearing of masks, but they must allow individuals to wear them if they choose to do so, Overbo wrote.

“As the quickly changing situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, GRISD desires to keep parents, faculty and community members abreast of our responses. Once again, student health and safety is GRISD’s No. 1 priority,” Overbo said. “We believe the 2021-2022 school year will be a great one, and we look forward to supporting your student in his or her learning journey.”