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Some Teachers Concerned After Dallas ISD Amends COVID Safety Measures, Shortens Return To Campus

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Monday morning, Dallas Independent School District - the second largest district in Texas - announced a change to its COVID safety measures: anyone who tests positive may return to campus after five days instead of ten. And that worries the president of Alliance/AFT teachers' union, Rena Honea.

"It is a little bit concerning, because we do have staff members that are much sicker than others, and five days is just not enough," Honea said.

Dallas ISD and others are following the CDC's guidelines, which changed last month. But the Texas Education Agency says students should still stay home for 10 days.

The TEA issued that public health guidance on Friday, in accordance with the Texas Department of State Health Services' rule. But, while the 10-day quarantine held for students, the TEA said Texas teachers and staff could return after 5 days, if they are asymptomatic or have symptoms that are improving. Honea said that could put teachers in a position of having to take unpaid leave if they need the additional days.

"It's very disconcerting that they could possibly be penalized, or they may have to make a decision: do I continue doing this work if I'm still really sick?" she said.

Within DISD, some parents said they preferred the 10-day quarantine, while others support the shortened version.

"Five days. I think ten days is too long, said parent Miguel Hernandez. "We've been through this, and everything's been closed, and I think kids need to be more in school."

But the guidelines change like the Texas weather and likely will again: the Department of State Health Services said it is currently reviewing quarantine protocols and will have an update soon.

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