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TEA announces tracking system for COVID-19 cases at public schools

"It is important to note that this data collection effort will be updated based on the input received from Texas school districts," the statement said.

The Texas Education Agency and Texas Health and Human Services are creating a COVID-19 data tracking system for public schools, a joint statement said Thursday afternoon.

The tracking system will monitor and report confirmed COVID-19 cases in public schools across the state, the agencies said in a joint statement.

School systems report cases to the state health department and that data will be publicly reported starting in September, the statement said.

The state agencies said they are working with superintendents on the reporting process, which will be finalized soon.

More than 20 school districts in North Texas have started in-person learning in August. It's unclear whether the data tracking system will include any cases reported by schools from August.

The districts of Frisco, Prosper, Lipan and Wylie have already reported COVID-19 cases in students and staff around North Texas.

Lipan began school in-person but reverted to online-only after multiple cases affected students and staff members, the district said.

RELATED: What happens when there is a positive COVID-19 case at school? Here's what the TEA says

Read the full statement from TEA and DSHS released Thursday: 

"Data on the number of cases in schools is of paramount interest to parents, students, teachers, staff, public health experts, policymakers and the larger community," the statement said. "This information will be submitted to DSHS any time there is a positive case in a campus community. TEA is collaborating with superintendents on the reporting process and will finalize it in the coming days. As a result, it is important to note that this data collection effort will be updated based on the input received from Texas school districts.

"Having this knowledge and being able to publicly share the accumulated case totals from schools in a single place covering the entire state of Texas will help us to further support the health and safety of all Texans."