As Houston-area schools report nearly 13K active COVID cases, 3 entire districts closing campuses

Livingston, Onalaska and Angleton school districts announced closures at all of their campuses

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BySteve Campion KTRK logo
Thursday, September 2, 2021
At least 3 entire Houston-area districts closing due to COVID cases
With schools being weeks into the new school year, Houston-area school districts reported more than 12,700 COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As 13 Investigates' COVID-19 case tracker across Houston-area school districts close in on 13,000 active cases, Eyewitness News is learning another district in the region is closing all of its campuses due to the virus.

Here are the latest COVID developments in our area schools.

Livingston ISD to close due to staffing issues

As school districts in our area begin a new month on the calendar, we're already seeing at least one more district deciding to close due to rising cases.

On Wednesday, Livingston ISD in Polk County won't have classes for the rest of the week after the Labor Day holiday. Campuses will be closed Sept. 6-10.

High school extracurricular activities will continue as long as they can be sustained by non-COVID positive staff, LISD added.

There will not be regular instruction on any campuses or remote conferencing instruction for COVID-19 positive students during the closure, the district said.

The district cited COVID-related staffing issues with the closures.

Livingston ISD consists of six campuses: Pine Ridge Primary; Timber Creek Elementary; Creekside Elementary; Cedar Grove Elementary; Livingston Junior High; and Livingston High School.

In recent days, two school districts - Onalaska and Angleton, closed their campuses through next Tuesday due to virus cases.

Also on Wednesday, Pearland ISD announced Rustic Oak Elementary School's closure for Thursday and Friday due to an increase in campus positive cases.

Districts without mask mandates have double the active cases per 1,000 student as those with them, data shows

Houston-area school districts reported more than 12,700 active COVID-19 cases among students and staff, as of Wednesday afternoon. This is the highest number of active cases reported in the Houston-area campuses since the 2021-2022 school year began.

Compared to Tuesday, which saw a total of 11,784 active cases, cases increased by 8%, with nearly 1,000 new COVID-19 cases reported by districts overnight.

13 Investigates is tracking COVID-19 cases at dozens of districts across the Houston area and found schools without mask mandates are seeing two times the number of cases as districts with mask mandates.

A dive into the numbers showed that on Tuesday, HISD, which currently has a mask mandate in place, reported 771 active COVID cases. Of those cases, 659 were reported among students and 112 were among staff. On Wednesday, data showed that in total the district had 758 cases. Of those, 653 cases were among students and 105 were among staff.

Meanwhile in Katy ISD, which does not have a mask mandate, reported 765 active cases on Tuesday. Of those reported cases, 654 were students and 111 were among staff. By Wednesday, the district reported 880 cases, of which 760 were student cases and 120 were staff cases.

When looking at enrollment and the total number of active cases at districts with mask mandates, there are 6.1 active COVID-19 cases per 1,000 students. That number doubles to 12.5 active COVID-19 cases per 1,000 students at the Houston-area districts without a mask mandate.

When Angleton ISD closed Tuesday due to a rise in cases, our investigation found 27.7 active cases per 1,000 students. Several area districts, like Tomball, New Caney and Conroe are close to or over that amount but are still open.

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

The data comes from COVID dashboards from 33 Houston-area school districts.

The video featured above is from a previous report.

SEE ALSO: Boy who died of COVID is Houston's 1st pediatric virus death without underlying health issues

Houston's six previous pediatric deaths all had underlying health conditions. The child or teen, who was not vaccinated, died in late July.

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