Education

HISD Campuses Will Be Closed Tuesday As Well Because of COVID-19 [UPDATED]

(L-R) Dr. Ericka Brown of Harris County Public Health and County Judge Lina Hidalgo announcing the return to the highest COVID threat level on January 10.
(L-R) Dr. Ericka Brown of Harris County Public Health and County Judge Lina Hidalgo announcing the return to the highest COVID threat level on January 10. Screenshot
Houston ISD has decided to remain closed on Tuesday, January 18 after being closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This affects students and all HISD staff (unless called in by a supervisor).

The reason given in the HISD announcement is that there has been a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Houston area. The HISD news blog references the decision by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on January 10 to raise the alert level to red.

The day had already been designated a teacher workday with no students in attendance, an HISD press officer explained. Superintendent Millard House II's decision just extended that to employees as well as students.

HISD has maintained its policy calling for masks on all campuses among students, employees and visitors. Despite this, it, like everyone else, is facing the more transmissible Omicron variation which has shown to affect even people with vaccinations and booster shots — though not to the extent of those who haven't been vaccinated at all.

HISD has partnered with other community and health groups to offer free COVID testing. This includes:


A free drive-through mega site at HISD’s Delmar Stadium in partnership with the Houston Health Department. To register, visit HoustonHealth.org or call 832-393-4220.

A free drive-through mega site at HISD’s Butler Stadium in partnership with the Houston Health Department. Appointments are not required but available by calling 1-866-333-2684.

A list of campus testing sites and their weekly or bi-weekly schedules can be found at HoustonISD.org/HealthAlerts.

A one-time consent is required for on-campus testing and can be filled out at https://bit.ly/HISDC19Test.
The Texas Medical Center reported Monday that the weekly replication rate for the Greater Houston area as of Sunday was 1.04 which means that the virus continues to spread — although it was down from the 1.44 R(t) rate recorded the previous week.

As of Sunday, 13,395 people tested positive for COVID-19 and the Texas Medical Center admitted 497 new COIV-19 patients per day.

The Harris Health System continues to urge the public not to go to hospital ERs for COVID-19 testing or if they have mild symptoms. The staffs at clinics, hospitals and other medical centers are dealing with a lot of staff members being out because they have COVID and an increasing demand for diagnosis and treatment from the public. This has sometimes meant delays in treating people having true medical emergencies as well as patients with severe reactions to COVID. 
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