AUSTIN, Texas - It's been several weeks since Central Texas schools have opened their doors during the pandemic, Austin Public Health has noted ‘student to student’ transmission is highest not in classes but after school.
“Those extracurricular activities where we are seeing clusters are football programs, band programs, and cheerleading programs,” said Dr. Mark Escott, APH Health Authority said to Travis County Commissioners. “It’s generally because those activities are not amenable to distancing and masking.”
According to Austin Public Health, there was one case of COVID-19 reported by a district last week and 24 cases reported total since the school year started. “I have been pleased with what our superintendents have done to be more conservative in terms of reopening schools than any other jurisdiction that I am aware of in the state of Texas,” Dr. Escott said.
COVID-19 hospitalizations among school-aged children 10 to 19 have dropped by 5-percent. Dr. Mark Escott said although that’s a positive sign it’s a reminder that children are not immune to the virus.
Concerned citizens called into the Travis County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, all weighing in on COVID-19’s impact in schools. Dr. Escott cautions potential COVID fatigue and wants families to be mindful as schools move to open from 25-percent to 75-percent capacity overtime.
“If we take away those protections it will come back and it will come back with a vengeance, we have to stay vigilant,” said Escott.