December 21, 2020

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission adopted an emergency rule relating to child-care centers, school age programs, before and after school programs, licensed child care homes, and registered child care homes. The rule becomes effective Dec. 22, 2020. It will be effective for up to 120 days and may be extended for 60 more days. The adopted emergency rule 26 TAC §745.10005 replaces the previous emergency rule §745.10003.

You must follow all guidelines in the new emergency rule .§745.10005.

The new emergency rule continues a provision in the old rule. It states a more restrictive direction or executive order from another applicable authority takes precedence.

The new emergency rule still requires the operation to screen adults and children entering the operation and deny entry to any who meet the screening criteria in rule. The screening criteria has been updated. See the following details.

§745.10005 is different than the previous emergency rule in the following ways:

  • Requires caregivers and other staff to notify the operation if they experience any illness or symptoms that may be COVID-19 related.
  • Requires an operation to consult with the local or state health authority if a caregiver or other staff has been in close contact, as defined by CDC, with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The operation must follow the local or state health authority’s recommendations.
  • Updates the screening criteria in subsection (d) as follows:
    • Includes a temperature of 100.4 or higher to the requirement involving a fever.
    • Adds “or other signs of illness”.
    • Replaces the 14-day time frame with a reference to the CDC definition of “close contact” to account for potential future changes in the definition.
    • Clarifies that someone who had close contact with a person who had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or is under investigation for COVID-19, may be allowed to enter the operation if the local or state health authority has determined the person’s presence at the operation would not put others at risk.
    • Deletes the rule for those traveling internationally within the last 14 days to countries with ongoing community transmission.
    • Adds a requirement for those with a confirmed diagnosis for COVID-19.
  • Clarifies in (f)(2) that a parent may enter the operation after screening. The operation must determine there is a legitimate need for that specific parent to enter the operation.
  • Requires a caregiver or other staff to leave the operation immediately if they begin to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or any other contagious illness while at the operation.

View the adopted rule (PDF).