Daniel Stockton, FISD executive director of government & legal affairs, gave a general overview of the district's COVID-19 protocols at a Sept. 14 board meeting. He said the district "recently published a little more detailed information" on COVID-19 protocols on FISD's website.
Close contact reviews
Stockton went over the steps FISD takes when conducting close contact reviews for someone who is confirmed to be COVID-19-positive. However, the definition of "close contact," which primarily comes from the Texas Education Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has changed a few times.
"The Texas Education Agency's definition has changed, I think, four or five times this past month," Stockton said. "We've tried to stay as consistent as possible. We're making sure we're following the guidance of the TEA."
FISD's current definition of close contact, which comes from a recent TEA clarification, is when someone is within 6 feet of a confirmed case for a cumulative 15 minutes or more during an infectious period, Stockton said. A confirmed case is someone who receives a positive COVID-19 test result.
"We stuck with this definition, which has been vetted by Denton County Public Health," he said.
Due to challenges with space and social distancing at the elementary level and on school buses, Stockton said all individuals and elementary classrooms riding on a bus are considered to be in close contact with everyone in that environment.
"Any time we have a case in an elementary class, that whole class is going to quarantine," he said.
However, Stockton said the class will stay together in a virtual environment, including the teacher.
The district has been made aware of the "significant" data issues facing Collin County and the state, Stockton said. FISD relies on COVID-19 data from Collin and Denton counties and the state to update its COVID-19 activity level every week.
"Denton County does its own case investigations," Stockton said. "It gives us a lot of really great information, and we're very confident in that information."
Collin County does not conduct COVID-19 case investigations after handing over control to the state in June.
"We just don't feel confident in continuing to use the Collin County data anymore," Stockton said. "We're currently reviewing these disease activity level metrics and trying to come up with some other data that we can follow."