HOUSTON — It’s been one month since the start of school, and still, in the middle of the pandemic, districts across Houston are busy reporting COVID-19 numbers to dashboards online.
“We are looking very closely at numbers being shared by school districts,” said Dr. Jim Versalovic, Interim Pediatrician-In-Chief for Texas Children’s Hospital. “I think it’s fair to say one month into the school year that we definitely have evidence that transmission is occurring in schools and with school activities."
KHOU 11 found the percentage of students who've tested positive so far this school year at three of the biggest districts in our area.
At Houston ISD there is .96 percent of the 196,171 total student population who have tested positive.
In Fort Bend ISD there is 4.85 percent who have tested positive of the 77,050 students enrolled.
Humble ISD has had 6.35 percent of its 46,216 students report testing positive.
Keep in mind, HISD has a mask mandate, and in the other two districts, it’s optional.
“We remain in this relatively high plateau with a downward trend, but I want to be very cautiously optimistic that we may be over the hump," Dr. Versalovic said.
Optimistic, because the number of patients Texas Children’s is seeing test positive was more than 15 percent in August. Now it’s down to 10 percent. However, Dr. Versalovic said there have been months in the pandemic where we were below 5 percent.
“We want to encourage children to go to school," he said. “I think what’s important to note is we can do this safely."
He said masking and vaccinating eligible students are our best defense.