March 29, 2020
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By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

Texas Education Agency recently released guidelines for paper-based packet pickup to mitigate health risks. The guidelines are directed at school systems that are offering a paper solution for families who do not have access to the Internet.
According to the release: “When families have access to the Internet, effectively all activities can be done online, eliminating any public health risk associated with providing instructional support. However, in areas where COVID-19 has already become community-spread, paper-based options, where schools transfer paper-based packets back and forth from schools and home, can become a potential public health risk.”
The guidelines point out that much remains to be learned about COVID-19.
“There are no cases where the virus seems to have been transmitted through the mail, and preliminary evidence suggests the virus can only live on surfaces like cardboard for 24 hours and approximately 2-3 days on plastic. This means that with some very basic sanitation protocols, any risk of homework packets themselves transmitting the virus can be minimized.”
The guidelines address other concerns such as packet return, directly or through the mail.
To read the entire document, search “Texas paper packet pick up” and click Logistical Considerations for Paper-Based Packet Pickup, or go to tea.texas.gov/coronavirus, scroll down to General Guidance and FAQs, click on Instructional Continuity Planning and click on Logistical Considerations for Paper-Based Packet Pick Up (PDF) March 23 2020.

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