PSJA teacher seeks answers after lack of communication on coronavirus issues

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Some teachers at the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District are concerned about the amount of coronavirus information shared by administrators.

A teacher who spoke with Channel 5 News on the condition of anonymity said he's concerned administrators aren't sharing enough information when someone tests positive for the virus.

When students and teachers return to classrooms, he's concerned the situation will get worse.

A federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act limits the sharing of private health information, including coronavirus test results.

Asked about the teacher's concerns, PSJA released a statement:

"Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD has taken extra precautionary measures since the pandemic started to ensure the health and safety of all students, staff and families. From the development of a COVID-19 Hotline in the Spring to facilitate any questions arising from staff members to live virtual information sessions and employee wellness videos conducted to provide awareness to all employees and families of the best health measures available to prevent the spread.   

As staff members returned from summer break, the Hotline was expanded into a multi-team operation including additional campus nurses and assistance from additional medical experts to better serve staff. 

When the district receives a report of a probable positive COVID-19 case it goes above and beyond current local and state safety measures to ensure the safety of all employees.   

If the employee in question happened to be in one of the district facilities prior to the report, district subject matter experts trace all steps taken and recommend a campus or facility shutdown to ensure proper disinfecting is done. Immediately, individuals that may have come in contact with the staff member are notified. In addition, a quick response disinfectant team is sent to the facility to disinfect the location, and all entrances are closed with caution tape preventing any visitors or other employees from going in through this process. Lastly, building supervisor and facility Nurse is made aware to notify other employees who may have planned to visit the facility. 

We continue to build the capacity of other in-house employee experts. All PSJA ISD Nurses have been trained and are available at district sites to screen all visitors and take temperature checks prior to giving them access to the building. 

Most recently, a Safety Compliance Taskforce has also been implemented to do random support assessments at all district facilities to ensure proper health and safety protocols are followed at all times.  

To further build on communication, the district will soon announce a live dashboard that will notify all district employees of campuses that maybe shutdown due to a probable case and are being disinfected. This process, developed in-house, will ensure all staff members are kept informed of any and all situations that may arise at their work location.  

We encourage our staff members to continue to remain vigilant and aware of health and safety protocols available, as well as, communication sent to them by district channels and direct supervisors to ensure proper safety protocols are met, as the safety of our entire community is a shared responsibility."

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