(Pexels)

The Texas AFT union launched a campus-level COVID-19 tracking tool on Thursday as public schools work through their reopening plans.

The Texas American Federation of Teachers launched an online tracking tool on Thursday that allows teachers and others to report COVID-19 cases and unsafe working conditions on public school campuses.

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(Austin Public Health)

Austin Public Health issued guidance for local school reopening on Friday evening.

Austin Public Health issued guidance on Friday for a phased-in reopening of schools, which links recommended on-campus capacity to the risk level.

For example, Travis County is currently at a Stage 4. According to the new guidance, schools should limit on-campus learning to 25% of the school population at this stage.

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott also adopted new emergency rules on Friday, which state that schools must follow the phased-in approach unless it will result in a loss of funding from the Texas Education Agency.

You can reach the full set of recommendations here.

(Austin Public Health)

After a brief plateau, the number of new confirmed COVID cases is declining again in Travis County.

Travis County is once again seeing a decline in the number of new confirmed COVID cases and related hospitalizations after a brief plateau, but more kids are testing positive and being hospitalized with the virus, the county's top health official said Tuesday.

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(Texas MedClinic)

Austin Public Health testing

Austin Public Health is expanding its free testing service to residents without symptoms due to a drop in demand as cases plateau.

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Austin ISD considers delaying first day of school, extending virtual classes

The Austin Independent School Board is considering pushing back the first day of school to Sept. 8 and applying for eight weeks of virtual-only classes, citing "local health conditions" and the fact that COVID-19 disproportionately affects Hispanics, who represent a third of teachers and more than half of the district's students.

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Gov. Greg Abbott stresses local school officials "know best" whether schools should reopen

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott stressed Tuesday that only local school boards, not local governments, have the power to decide how to open schools this fall during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott ordered all public and private schools within Austin and Travis County not to reopen for on-campus, face-to-face instruction until after Sept. 7. Virtual instruction is allowed.

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