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Positivity rates in all Travis County school-age students outpacing the community's, Dr. Escott says

Just one day prior to Tuesday's meeting, Austin ISD started encouraging parents to have their children learn remotely for the remainder of the week.

AUSTIN, Texas — Dr. Mark Escott gave a coronavirus update to the Austin City Council and Travis County commissioners during a meeting on Tuesday morning.

The doctor talked about how the alternate care site at the Austin Convention Center is now open and gave new details about the virus in schools. 

RELATED: Alternate care site at Austin Convention Center now open and ready for patients

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%

He said all school ages are outpacing the community positivity rates and asked parents to choose the virtual option for their children if possible.

Last week, there were 292 cases in Travis County schools. Those cases included 102 students, 187 staff members and three others.

"The risk is extracurricular activities, the risk is shared transportation," the doctor said, also pointing to cafeterias as a risk area.

In addition, there were 1,473 close contacts identified in Travis County schools, with 1,193 of them being students and 280 being staff members.

Just one day prior to Tuesday's meeting, the Austin Independent School District started encouraging parents to have their children learn remotely for the remainder of the week as cases in the Austin area continue to surge.

RELATED: Austin ISD encouraging remote instruction for the rest of the week

On Monday, Jan. 11, there were 955 new cases reported in Austin/Travis County, bringing the total to 56,825. The area also reported four new coronavirus-related deaths for a total of 573. 

You can watch the Tuesday meeting in the video below.

WATCH: Austin City leaders meet to discuss COVID-19


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