UPDATE: The Texas Education Agency is now releasing information about how many students and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus in each Texas school district.
Here are the cases reported in the the three largest school districts in El Paso, according to the TEA:
- El Paso Independent School District: 16 students and 11 staff members
Socorro Independent School District: 3 students and 16 staff members
Ysleta Independent School District: 1 student and 13 staff members
The TEA said all of the above cases are designated either as having been contracted off campus or are listed as unknown, meaning the agency doesn't know if the infected person had been to campus or not.
ORIGINAL REPORT: EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The Texas Education Agency has released Covid-19 data for Texas public schools.
3,445 students had tested positive in public schools statewide as of Wednesday, out of the roughly 1.1 million students estimated to have returned to campuses the first week they reopened.
2,850 staff members had tested positive on Texas public school campuses since campuses began reopening in early August, out of the roughly 800,000 who were employed last school year.
The TEA has released data on Covid-19 cases broken down by individual school districts. You can view the data, which is updated weekly, on this web page. Look for the link that reads, "District level data file."
El Paso City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza told ABC-7 he had not seen a noticeable increase in new cases since schools reopened in the county in early September. He said officials will remain vigilant in monitoring new cases and hospitalizations as more students are welcomed back to school campuses.
"We're going to keep the children as long as we can so they can have the full benefit of going to school, keeping in mind the safety as well," he said. "If we see there is a certain type of trend, then we will make appropriate recommendations because it's not just a very simple number in time. We need to look at different variables."
Ocaranza said plans will vary if and when students or staff members test positive because each district and each classroom is different.
He said his message to parents is to emphasize prevention with children. Children should be comfortable wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands frequently before returning to school campuses.
"One thing that is important to mention is that the risk is not going to be completely eliminated, but it's going to be greatly reduced," Ocaranza said. "There will be cases where there probably will be exposure in school or somewhere else, so we all need to do our part. Please parents do not send your children if they're sick."