School authorities, including the Superintendent, principal, teacher, school Health Center Director, or social worker, should report to the local health authority those students attending TSBVI who are suspected of having a notifiable condition, as defined by state law and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). 25 TAC 97.2(d), 97.5(a); Health and Safety Code 81.041- .042;
“School authority” means the Superintendent or designee. Health and Safety Code 81.049
School employees who have information that any student enrolled in the School has a notifiable condition, as set forth in 25 TAC 97.3, shall provide the information to the Health Center Director. If the Health Center Director believes that information reported by a school employee supports a report to the local health authority, the Director shall make the report. If the Health Center Director of Health Services does not believe that the information supports a report to the local health authority, the Director shall so inform the employee and the student will be excluded from school pending appropriate medical diagnosis and recovery with required waiting period. Parents also have a legal duty to immediately report communicable diseases and illnesses and keep their child quarantined. Health and Safety Code 81.042(c), (e)
COVID-19 Virus Report Immediately
The Governor has declared the Novel Corona Virus COVID-19 as a “Public Health Disaster” in Texas because the Health Commissioner determined this virus poses a high risk of an immediate threat of death or serious long term disability to a large number of people and creates a substantial risk of public exposure because of the high level of contagion or transmission. Health and Safety Code 81.003(7)
On an emergency basis, all suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases must be immediately reported to the local health authority and DSHS electronically by downloaded pdf form “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Case Report Form” at: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/docs/DSHS-COVID19CaseReportForm.pdf
(attached as FFAD-E) or as a last resort by phone to 888-963-7111 (24/7). The report must provide:
- Patient’s name, address, age and date of birth, sex, race/ethnicity, telephone number, disease(s) and occupation.
- Method of diagnosis and date of onset.
- Probable source of infection.
- Name, address and telephone number of the attending doctor or dentist.
See DSHS website for COVID-19: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
and 81.044(b) Texas Health and Safety Code
A student is excluded from TSBVI for the period of time required by the Local Health Authority until at least one day (24 hours) since recovery, and defined as no fever without the use of aspirin or other fever reducing medications AND improvement from symptoms related to COVID-19.
Death and Autopsy
In the case of death from a reportable or communicable disease or illness, that is a threat to public health, the attending physician must immediately notify the local health authority or DSHS. With consent of the family, an attending physician or health authority may request an autopsy if additional information is necessary to determine the cause of death in order to protect public health. The health authority shall order the autopsy to determine the cause of death if there are no survivors or the survivors withhold consent. Health and Safety Code 81.045
Sexually Transmitted Disease
School authorities who are not medical directors are exempt from reporting AIDS, chancroid, Chlamydia trachomatis infection, gonorrhea, HIV infection, or syphilis to the local health authority or DSHS regional director. 25 TAC 97.2(d) [See FFG (TSBVI) regarding reports to the Department of Family and Protective Services]
Health professionals as defined by 25 Administrative Code 97.131(5) shall report cases and suspected cases of STD(s) in the manner described in 25 Administrative Code 97.133. 25 TAC 97.132(a)(1)
A person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person knowingly fails to report a reportable disease or health condition under Health and Safety Code Chapter 81, Subchapter B. Health and Safety Code 81.049
The Superintendent or principal shall exclude from attendance any student suffering from a communicable condition, as defined by the Texas Department of State Health Services, until the criteria for readmission are met. 25 TAC 97.7(a)
A student excluded for reason of communicable disease shall be readmitted by one or more of the following methods, as determined by the health authority:
- Physician assistant attesting that the child does not currently have signs or symptoms of a communicable disease or to the disease’s non-communicability in a school setting.
- Submitting a permit for readmission issued by the local health authority; or
- After a period of time corresponding to the duration of the communicability of the disease, meeting readmission criteria as established by the commissioner of health.
25 TAC 97.7(b)-(c)
Note: See DSHS Communicable Disease Chart for Schools and Child-Care Centers at: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/health/schools_childcare/resources
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) shall prescribe procedures by which TSBVI shall provide information relating to bacterial meningitis to its students and their parents each school year. The procedures must ensure that the information is reasonably likely to come to the attention of the parents of each student. The agency DSHS shall prescribe the form and content of the information.
The School shall provide information about bacterial meningitis to its students and their parents in the Parent Student Handbook, which is also available on the TSBVI website.
Education Code 38.0025
Amended: 6/29/84, 1/14/88, 11/17/95, 5/28/03, 1/22/10, 8/9/18, 9/28/20