Category archive

Coronavirus Updates - page 12

Governor Abbott Waives STAAR Testing Requirements

in Coronavirus Updates
Governor Abbott Waives STAAR Testing Requirements

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Governor Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.

Governor Abbott is working closely with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19. This includes tailoring instruction for students with special needs so that they have access to the same education as other students in the district. Governor Abbott will continue to work with the TEA on developing additional methods to ensure that students are learning and ready to succeed at the next grade-level. These discussions are ongoing and more information will be provided as it develops.

“Your health and safety are top priorities, and the state of Texas will give school districts flexibility to protect and ensure the health of students, faculty, and their families,” said Governor Abbott. “We will empower schools to make the best decisions to protect their communities from COVID-19.”

The move to waive testing requirements reflects the Governor’s emphasis on public health over all other priorities at this time. In normal times, Texas’ assessment system provides educators and parents with reliable information on whether or not their students have mastered grade-level content. The Governor remains committed to ensuring parents, students, and school districts have access to this information in future years.

Superintendents should continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, and their families. Their leadership is an important part of our statewide efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect public health.

Virtual Activities to Explore If You’re Homebound During the COVID-19 Crisis

in Coronavirus Updates/Local Roundup
Virtual Activities to Explore If You're Homebound During the COVID-19 Crisis

We’ve gathered some resources you and your family might find helpful if you are practicing social isolation.

Please return to this page as we add additional resources.  If you know of others, drop us an email.

General Activities

Field Trips


Science and Math and Education

Museum Tours

  • Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch (Video)






















Governor Abbott Declares State of Disaster in Texas

in Coronavirus Updates
Governor Abbott Declares State of Disaster in Texas

On Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference at the State Capitol to update the public on the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Texas and what the state is doing to protect public health. The Governor also announced several new actions Texas is taking to mitigate the spread of the virus, including declaring a State of Disaster in all Texas counties.

The Governor was joined by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, and Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd for the press conference.

“From the very beginning, our number one objective has been to implement preventative strategies that build on our state’s existing public health capabilities so that no matter how this situation unfolds, Texas will be ready,” said Governor Abbott. “That is exactly what our state agencies have done. The State of Texas is prepared, and we continue to take proactive measures along with the support of our federal and local partners to contain this virus and keep Texans safe. Declaring a State of Disaster is a key component of these efforts because it allows the state to effectively serve the people of Texas without hindrance or delay. When Texans come together, there is nothing we can’t overcome—and it is up to all of us to work proactively and collaboratively to respond to this challenge and protect public health.”

By declaring a State of Disaster, a number of actions are triggered by the Governor, including:

  • Authorizing the use of all available and necessary state government resources to help manage this situation.
  • Activating the state emergency management plan and the State Operations Center to enhance the state’s planning and response capabilities.
  • Giving TDEM the ability to reassign & fully utilize appropriate personnel where they are needed most.
  • Providing the immediate ability to move resources around the state, including resources obtained through the Strategic National Stockpile.
  • Empowering the Office of the Texas Attorney General (OAG) to pursue cases of price-gouging and ensure that offenders are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

To protect the most vulnerable population, the Governor also directed state agencies to restrict visitations at certain facilities. This directive allows limited exceptions for situations like end-of-life visitations and requires all individuals to go through proper screening.

Agencies will be restricting visitation at the following facilities:

  • Nursing homes
  • State-supported living centers
  • Hospitals
  • Daycare facilities
  • Prisons, jails, and juvenile justice facilities

Governor Abbott is also directing state agencies to take any action necessary to facilitate telemedicine. In addition, he is directing state agencies to provide flexible work and tele-work policies to employees to give them the ability to care for their families, while ensuring the state government continues function at full capacity and provide all necessary services.

The Governor reassured the public that stockpiling supplies is not necessary. The State has been working closely with grocers and retailers to ensure shelves are replenished and that Texans have access to the goods and supplies they need.

Updates on testing capabilities were also announced during the press conference. Governor Abbott stated that Texas Public Health Labs now have the capacity to test over 270 people per day, with more private labs coming online every day. Additionally, the City of San Antonio has announced the opening of the first drive-through testing facility in Texas. This facility will serve first responders, healthcare workers, operators of critical infrastructure and key resources, and certain high-risk patients. Other major cities are working to implement drive-through testing sites that will be run and managed at the local level.

Governor Abbott addressed the actions being taken by the Texas Education Agency to prepare a proper response within school districts. Texas is pursuing waivers for federal regulations for the school lunch program to give districts flexibility to provide students food should districts shut down due to the coronavirus.

The Governor also reminded the public that the state has asked health insurers and health maintenance organizations operating in Texas to waive costs associated with testing and telemedicine visits for the coronavirus. Additionally, the Texas Department of Insurance is requesting that insurers report their actions related to consumer cost-sharing and access to services so that the department can ensure consumers are aware of their available benefits.

Texans who suspect a case of price-gouging in connection to the potential coronavirus threat should file a consumer complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the OAG. Texans can also call the hotline at 1-800-621-0508.

View the Governor’s Declaration. 

City of Orange and Orange County Officials Continue to Monitor COVID-19 Situation

in Coronavirus Updates
City of Orange and Orange County Officials Continue to Monitor COVID-19 Situation

County and City officials in Orange County continue to monitor the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19). As of Friday morning, March 13, 2020, there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Orange County.

Officials urge citizens to take precautions such as washing one’s hands and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Further information and additional cautions regarding the virus are available online at the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Texas Health and Human Services.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the coronavirus should first call their health provider to ask about further steps. Please do not visit a healthcare provider without first alerting them about your concerns.

County and city officials will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed.

UIL Suspends All Contests Due to COVID-19

in Coronavirus Updates

To support the health and safety of all students and communities, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) is suspending all UIL sanctioned contests due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Texas. Effective March 16, all UIL interscholastic competition is suspended through March 29.

Rehearsals and practices may be held at the discretion of the local school district.

“We are urging our member schools and their communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt.  “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”

As this is a fluid situation, the UIL will continue to follow the direction of state and local officials to monitor this situation and will make additional announcements as needed. Please continue to check the UIL website and social media accounts for further updates.

Go to Top