HOUSTON — The Houston Health Department monitors COVID-19 levels by testing wastewater at dozens of locations every week. That includes samples from more than 50 Houston ISD schools.
Because people shed virus when they use the restroom, wastewater testing has proven to be an effective way to monitor the virus’ spread even when fewer people are getting tested.
You can see the levels in your own neighborhood with the city's new wastewater dashboard.
The most recent results from Sept. 6 show more than 30 HISD schools came back negative for COVID-19.
Dr. Loren Hopkins with the Houston Health Department said 16 schools showed a high positive rate.
“We don’t know how many people that is, but there are some that are very, very high,” Hopkins said. “It’s a warning. It’s an indicator. We know the virus is in that school.”
Six schools have shown high levels of the virus for consecutive weeks. All but one are elementary schools.
They include Barrick Elementary, Berry Elementary, Cunningham Elementary, Rodriguez Elementary, Energized for Excellence Academy, and Chavez High School.
Dr. Hopkins said over a year’s worth of wastewater data show the impact of vaccines in real time.
“If a community wanted to really make a difference, they’re going to have to be vaccinated. That will make the positivity go down. That will make the wastewater go down,” Dr. Hopkins said.
High Positive Schools: 16 total
Chavez High School
Edison Middle School
Energized for Excellence Academy Elementary
Hartman Middle School
Henry Middle School
Houston Math Science and Technology Center
Roderick R. Paige Elementary