District Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
At last week’s Consultation meetings with district administration, our Alliance team stressed that there is a risk associated with any requirement for employees to report to campuses or other district facilities. Even with enhanced safety measures in place, we know that, according to public health experts, the safest place to be is inside your home. The extension of Mayor Nirenberg’s Stay-at-Home order is evidence of this. Our team pressed district leadership to define “essential” as “that which is worth putting people’s health at risk.” If something is not worth putting people’s health at risk, it is not essential for that task or activity to be done right now. It has been confirmed that an SAISD employee who was required to report to campus for end-of-year activities last week has now tested positive for COVID-19. The district administration followed its protocol for this situation. They gathered information about which district employees may have come in contact with the individual who tested positive and contacted Metro Health for guidance. SAISD Risk Management has already contacted all of the employees who may have had contact with the individual, and those individuals have been advised to stay at home for the required period of time, self-monitor, see their physician if they show any symptoms, and notify Risk Management if they have any symptoms and/or get tested. This recent situation is an example of exactly why our Consultation teams raised the matter of what is and is not essential. We believe that the safety of district staff, students, and families should be our central concern, and that staff should not be required to complete non-essential tasks at a still precarious time for congregating on our campuses and worksites. Human life and health must be our absolute priority. As we all know, individuals may be asymptomatic, so for any staff who are reporting to campus, please make sure to follow all safety protocols. Given that our schools belong to our community, we also call on SAISD district leadership to contact any and all students and members of the community who may have had contact with the individual who tested positive, inform them of the situation, and advise them on risks and next steps. If you are an SAISD employee and do not feel safe returning to campus, please speak with your principal or supervisor. If you are an Alliance member, and need assistance, please contact our office number, 210-225-7174, for additional support.