Special Public Health Announcements
Free at home COVID-19 tests now available
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APH staff provide guidance and support for local public health issues related to illness, injury, and disease. Austin ISD partners with APH on health initiatives to provide education and awareness for prevailing health concerns in the community.
For more information about APH Services and Programs, visit:
School Year 2023-2024
CDC COVID-19 Website
Learn about the coronavirus, its symptoms, and what to do if you are sick
What You Need to Know
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency approval of the safe and effective Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 6 months and older. Moderna is authorized for ages 6 months and older.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
Austin COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps to lower your chances of getting COVID-19, spreading it to others, and ending up in the hospital. Staying up-to-day with your COVID vaccines is strongly encouraged.
Masks are optional in Austin ISD.
Masks continue to be an effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19 for those who choose to wear them.
Austin COVID-19 Testing Information
We strongly encourage all individuals to screen for symptoms per CDC guidelines before coming to campus.
Anyone who is sick should stay home and contact their campus immediately.
Local COVID-19 Testing Resources
COVID-19 tests are available to everyone in the U.S., including the uninsured.
For the nearest COVID-19 testing facility, please visit: testing locations
Free Covid-19 at home tests can be ordered here: https://www.covid.gov/tests
If you are feeling sick
If you or your child are feeling sick, regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not, please stay home and contact your medical provider and campus as soon as possible.
If you test positive
Those who test positive will need to stay home and report their case by calling the school’s front office and asking for the COVID-19 designee. Staff should report the COVID-19 positive result to their supervisor.
Returning to school
After testing positive, you need to wait five days before returning to school (the day you tested positive is Day 0). Anyone who tested positive will need markedly improved symptoms and to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning.
Students or staff who return to campus on the sixth day after a positive result will be asked to mask for five more calendar days.
We are cleaning and disinfecting our classrooms and buses daily. Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations are easily found in our hallways. Students are encouraged to wash hands frequently.
If you have any questions, please reach out through Let’s Talk.
Please note that while we do not expect many or any changes to the above protocols, we will continue to adjust protocols and communicate any changes as new governmental mandates and health authority recommendations are given.
Austin ISD is committed to being part of the fight against the nationwide fentanyl crisis. Fentanyl overdoses in neighboring school districts have raised concern for our community. We want you to be informed and encourage you to partner with us to create awareness and keep our schools safe. We are partnering with Austin ISD Police Department, Emergency Management and local health authorities to promote an awareness campaign to inform and educate all students, staff and members in the Austin ISD community.
Austin ISD’s Prevention and Emergency Response Plan
- Provide information and education to staff, students and families about the prevention of Opioid overdoses including fentanyl related incidents.
- Every Austin ISD elementary, middle, and high school campus will be supplied with Narcan, a medical solution that can restore normal breathing if a person is experiencing a fentanyl related overdose.
- Every school campus will have designated staff who will receive training before being allowed to administer Narcan on their campus.
Texas Department of Health and Human Services:
Head Lice (Pediculosis) Fact Sheets - English
- What Are Lice? # E05-12864 (color)
- How Do I Know if My Child Has Lice and How Did They Get It? # E05-12865 (color)
- What Should I Do If My Child Has Lice? # E05-12866 (color)
- How Do I Keep Lice From Coming Back? # E05-12867 (color)
- Misconceptions and Truths about Lice Treatment # E05-12868 (color)
- Lice Resources # E05-12869 (color)
Hojas Informativas Sobre los Piojos en la Cabeza - En Español
- ¿Qué son los piojos? # E05-12864 (color)
- ¿Cómo sé si mi hijo tiene piojos en la cabeza? Y, de ser así, ¿cómo se le pegaron?
# E05-12865 (color)
- ¿Qué debo hacer si creo que mi hijo tiene piojos en la cabeza? # E05-12866 (color)
- ¿Cómo evito que vuelvan los piojos? # E05-12867 (color)
- Mitos, ideas erróneas y verdades sobre el tratamiento de los piojos de la cabeza
# E05-12868 (color)
- Recursos sobre los piojos de la cabeza # E05-12869 (color)
What are lice?
Head lice, although not an illness or a disease, is very common among school-aged children and may be spread through head-to-head contact during play, sports, or nap time, and when children share things like brushes, combs, hats, and headphones.
Head lice do not jump or fly and are most commonly contracted by head-to-head contact. Head lice are commonly found in school-aged children, so parents/guardians should routinely monitor their students for live lice at home.
Head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene. Please take a few minutes to regularly check your child's head for lice and nit (eggs). Lice can be very hard to see because they are so small and often look like dandruff. The easiest way to differentiate nits from dandruff is the ease with which you can remove them from the hair shaft. Dandruff can be easily "picked" off while nits are stuck onto the hair shaft and require much more effort to remove. Lice can be hard to see as well because they are small, approximately the size of a sesame seed, and they will move quickly to avoid light.
Austin ISD follows the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health for the treatment of lice and school attendance guidelines for students who are identified with head lice.
Students will not be excluded from school due to head lice as Austin ISD does not enforce a “No-nit” policy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) support that there is little evidence that exclusion from school reduces the transmission of head lice (Texas Department of State Health Services, 2007, 2014). For additional information, please review Austin ISD Lice Prevention, Control, and Treatment Policy.
Students identified with head lice may complete the school day and information addressing lice management and treatment is sent home for the student and parent or legal guardian. The state does urge school districts not to cause children to miss class unnecessarily or encourage the embarrassment and isolation of students who suffer from repeated head lice.
Mass screenings for head lice are not done in school. They impede the educational process and are not necessary. No disease is associated with head lice, and in-school transmission is considered to be low. When transmission occurs, it is generally found among young children with increased head-to-head contact.. Head lice occurs world wide and among all socioeconomic groups.
In accordance with TDHS, if live lice are found on a student’s head, the school nurse will contact the student’s parent to discuss a plan for treatment with an FDA-approved, over-the-counter treatment that may be purchased from any drug or grocery store. After the student has undergone treatment, the parent should check in with the school nurse to discuss the treatment used.
For Elementary school students, a school letter will be sent home to the student’s parent and to the entire classroom alerting other parents to check their children for lice. If nits are found, a letter will go home only to the parent of the student. An anonymous letter will also be provided to parents of school students in the affected classroom. Upon return to school, the student will be reassessed. Parents/guardians will be notified as needed. Absences due to delayed treatment will not be excused.
Classroom or school-wide checks have not been found to be effective in lice management and the practice is not supported by the AAP or the CDC. Austin ISD policy supports this philosophy. At the Elementary school level, a classroom notification sent to parents within five days of a single incidence of lice in the class. Since many lice cases are discovered and treated at home, please let the school nurse know if you have discovered lice on your child. Your child's privacy will be maintained at all times.
The most important thing to remember is whatever treatment you use, follow the instructions EXACTLY as recommended for the treatment to reduce the risk of re-infestation. It's extremely important that you purchase and use a lice comb that has teeth that are very close together. This process is tedious (thus the term "nit-picking") but necessary to get all the nits out. Wash towels, bedding, jackets and any other items that are being used daily at home.
Keep checking your child's head every few days for the next 6-8 weeks. Only re-treat hair If live lice are still moving. Always check in with the school nurse or your child’s health professional if you are unsure of which treatment to use.
Treatment of head lice guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found at: www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/treatment.html
The best treatment for lice is prevention. Throughout the school year, check your child's hair weekly and after overnight visits with other children. Educate your children to avoid sharing hats, combs, brushes, and other commonly shared items.
Nits not killed by treatments will continue to hatch within 7-10 days. All nits should be removed to prevent reinfestation and permit early recognition of any new infestation.
Additional Health Information
Flu Vaccine Resources
Get the shot, not the Flu! Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.
- Austin Public Health - “Shots for Tots” for uninsured or MediCaid recipients Call 512-972-5520 to schedule an appointment at one of the following clinics:
- Far South Austin Clinic, 405 West Stassney, Austin, 78745
- St. Johns Clinic, 7500 Blessing Ave, Austin, 78752
- Good Rx Flu Vaccine Program - click to text, print or email a reduced price coupon accepted by local pharmacies
- HEB Pharmacy
- Austin Regional Clinic - Multiple locations available
- Flu Shot Vaccine Finder
- Call 2-1-1 or visit 211Texas.org
- Help Protect Yourself from getting and spreading Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) - English
- Help Protect Yourself from getting and spreading Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) - Spanish
Healthy Snack, Non-Food Reward and Fundraising Ideas