COVID-19 cases among students and staff drop 35% in Houston-area schools since Sept. 17

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Total active COVID-19 cases among students and staff within Houston-area districts have dropped over the last week, but campuses without mask mandates are still seeing higher numbers.

As of a noon update Friday, there are 5,832 active COVID-19 cases, down 35% from when 9,028 cases were reported exactly one week ago on Sept. 17.

Still, there's nearly three times as many active cases among students at campuses without a mask mandate, according to a 13 Investigates analysis of school COVID dashboards.

Twenty-six Houston-area dashboards separate their total cases by students versus staff.

Of those, the six districts with mask mandates have 3.7 cases per 1,000 students overall compared to the 20 districts without mask mandates, which have 11.2 cases per 1,000 students.

Waller ISD, which does not have a mask mandate, has the most cases based on enrollment, with 11.2 cases per 1,000 students.

That's an improvement from this time last week, when Waller ISD had 24.7 cases per 1,000 students.

RELATED: Pediatric COVID cases half in counties with schools requiring masks than those without, CDC says

Face mask mandates in schools have led to legal battles with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who in a May executive order, banned local governments from requiring people to wear masks.

But some local officials and school districts have defied Abbott's order with the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 spreading across the state.

You can find more on what to know about the legal fight over mask mandates in this explainer.

SEE ALSO: Texas schools must notify families if someone tests positive for COVID-19

The video above is from a Monday report on the active COVID-19 cases among students and staff in Houston-area districts.
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