Texas AFT Launches COVID-19 Tracker
News reports already tell us that students and staff are testing positive for COVID-19 as public school buildings reopen.
Texas school workers are going to work every day with few safeguards beyond a face mask and some rationed PPE. Social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain when classrooms are full, and district safety protocols are up to campus-by-campus interpretation. Plus, educators haven't been invited to the state planning table, which means decisions have been made by people who never step foot in the classroom.
This is a scary situation for hundreds of thousands of public school employees and for our more than 5 million students.
While the TEA now promises it will monitor and report COVID-19 cases in Texas public schools, the agency doesn’t have much of a track record of transparency or clarity in this pandemic. This independent, crowdsourced COVID-19 tracking site is for school workers to track patterns, get our stories out and keep leaders accountable.
Reports on the #StopTheSpreadTX site are crowdsourced from public school employees and are tied to specific school campuses or district facilities like bus barns.
You can search the map to see all reports, cases or personal stories tied to a particular school, or you can drill down from the broad state view.
Reports can be submitted anonymously. If you'd like for a union representative to follow up, you can choose to leave your contact information. But your name and contact information will be kept private.
As a crowdsourced platform, the data will be imperfect. But every report will be vetted by Texas AFT staff (to the best of our ability) for accuracy.
Why Texas AFT Is Doing This:
As new waves of districts open for face-to-face instruction, we want the bird’s-eye view of the state this crowdsourced data provides.
If we see huge reporting spikes in certain districts or regions, we know where we need to ramp up our efforts.
If or when the TEA ever announces how it’s tracking COVID-19 cases in schools, we can compare its data with what we’re seeing. And if those trends don’t line up? We’ll make the point loud and clear.