Houston ISD decided to remain closed on Tuesday, January 18 after being closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This affects students and all HISD staff (unless called by a supervisor).
The reason cited in HISD’s announcement is that there has been a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Houston area. The HISD news blog refers to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s January 10 decision to raise the alert level to red.
The day had already been designated as a teachers’ working day without the presence of students, an HISD press officer explained. Superintendent Millard House II’s decision just extended this to employees as well as students.
HISD maintained its policy calling for masks on all campuses among students, employees and visitors. Despite this, like everyone else, he is faced with the more transmissible variation of Omicron which has been shown to affect even vaccinated people and booster shots – but not to the extent of those who have not been vaccinated from all.
HISD has partnered with other community and health groups to offer free COVID testing. This includes:
A mega free drive-thru site at HISD’s Delmar Stadium in partnership with the Houston Department of Health. To register, visit HoustonHealth.org or call 832-393-4220.
A free drive-thru mega site at HISD’s Butler Stadium in partnership with the Houston Department of Health. Appointments are not required but available by calling 1-866-333-2684.
A list of on-campus testing sites and their weekly or biweekly hours is available at HoustonISD.org/HealthAlerts.
A one-time consent is required for on-campus testing and can be completed at https://bit.ly/HISDC19Test.
The Texas Medical Center reported on Monday that the weekly replication rate for the Greater Houston area as of Sunday was 1.04, meaning the virus is still spreading — although down from the rate of 1.44 R