AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Independent School District is offering another round of free COVID-19 testing. This comes as the positivity rate in school-aged students is seeing an increase and outpacing the community.
During a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, Dr. Mark Escott told Austin and Travis County leaders that the positivity rate in all Travis county school-aged students is outpacing the community's rate.
Here are the positivity rates in school-age children from last week, according to Dr. Escott:
- High school: 20.2%
- Middle school: 27.1% (all-time high)
- Elementary school: 19.8%
- Preschool: 10%
The school district's mass testing events will be via drive-thru Thursday and Friday. Both events will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and distributed at the following locations:
- Northeast Early College High School located at 7105 Berkman Drive
- Austin ISD Central Office located at 4000 S. Interstate Highway 35
Testing will be available for staff members and students who usually work and learn in person. This also includes students that participate in on-campus extracurricular activities.
Dr. Escott is also asking parents to choose the virtual option for their children if possible. In addition, the school district is encouraging remote learning for the remainder of the week.
AISD can't make remote learning mandatory because the Texas Education Agency requires on-campus learning at all times, specifically for students that don't have internet access. AISD co-signed a letter to the State, asking for funding flexibility.
"It is here we can more accurately evaluate and address the needs of our entire school community. As one of the over 1,022 ISDs in Texas, we are entrusted to make countless decisions to meet the safety and educational needs of our students, faculties, and their families every day. Education is our job, but safety and well-being are our responsibility," the letter stated.
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