As expected, with little to no mask use in Texas schools, plus the new delta variant, positive COVID-19 cases are increasing faster than before.

According to a report from the Texas Tribune, more students in Texas tested positive for COVID-19 last week than at any time in the previous school year.

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Despite these results and guidance from the CDC, some are still fighting against vaccinations and masks, like our very own Governor Abbott.

It was actually just two weeks ago that Governor Abbott himself tested positive for the virus. Eight days later, Abbott issued an Executive Order maintaining the current policy prohibiting the mandating of any COVID-19 vaccinations by any government entity in the State of Texas.

While the news of climbing cases is bleak, there does seem to be some hope on the horizon.

On Friday, Senate Bill 15, which expands remote learning options, was approved by the Texas House. Now the bill awaits action from Governor Abbott.

“We understand that virtual learning is not for every child, but we have heard from many parents asking for a high-quality virtual option for their students, especially with the ever-changing situation that we are facing with COVID-19,” said state Rep. Keith Bell, R-Forney.

According to the Texas Tribune, SB 15 would "pay for virtual learning until September 2023 and give local school districts and charter schools the autonomy to set up their own virtual learning programs. Lawmakers set the fall 2023 date to allow them to revisit the issue during their next regular session."

Currently, local community parent pages are being flooded with discussions from parents seeking to remove their children from school in an effort to protect them and others. If SB 15 is passed, it may alleviate some of the stress parents are facing, but of course then comes the issue of finding childcare.

Patience, understanding, and safety are needed now more than ever as we navigate through the ever-changing waves of this pandemic.

 

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