HOUSTON - The policies of some local school districts without a mask mandate are allowing kids, who have tested positive for COVID-19, to come back to school after five days without a mask. This policy goes against the CDC guidelines.
"My kids wear a mask. So there’s no mandate, but in my house there is," said Kasey Rojas, who has two kids in a Klein ISD elementary school.
The district doesn’t have a mask mandate, but what is more concerning to some parents like Rojas is the district’s quarantine protocol. At Klein ISD, if a student, teacher, or staff member tests positive for COVID 19, they can return to school after five days have passed. No mask requirement.
That doesn’t line up with what the CDC guidelines.
"You are supposed to isolate for the first five days at home, and if you are feeling better and you don’t have any fever on day 5, you may come out of isolation, but you need to be wearing a mask very strictly for the next five days because you may be still shedding low levels of virus," said Dr. Luis Ostrosky, the chief of infectious diseases with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.
Cy-Fair ISD is another district with the same criteria as Klein - you can come back to school if you test positive for Covid after 5 days. No masks required.
"Most people forget that the second part of the CDC recommendations is to wear a mask for an additional five days so that is a safeguard that is very important," said Dr. Ostrosky.
"It is hard without a mandate because everyone is free to do whatever they want regardless. I don’t know who is infected and who is not," said Rojas.
Many districts with no mask mandate, like Katy ISD, say you have to quarantine for 10 days if you test positive. So five days you quarantine and tack on another five to make sure you come back to school not contagious.
Klein ISD says they can’t mandate students wear masks per Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Executive Order GA-38.