Coronavirus updates: Case counts from 4 southeast Houston ISDs after holiday break

Friendswood ISD reported 53 total active coronavirus cases Jan. 6, a new high for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Friendswood ISD reported 53 total active coronavirus cases Jan. 6, a new high for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Friendswood ISD reported 53 total active coronavirus cases Jan. 6, a new high for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

COVID-19 case counts in Galveston County are rising at the highest rates seen since July, and several ISDs in southeast Houston are experiencing similar upticks in their case totals.

However, not every district is dealing with more cases than in 2020: Clear Creek ISD is reporting some of its lowest case count rates since mid-October, and there are fewer than 10 active cases in Alvin ISD.

Friendswood ISD reported 53 total active coronavirus cases Jan. 6, a new high for the 2020-21 school year. That same day, Clear Creek ISD reported just 16 active cases for the first time since Oct. 16. On Jan. 7, FISD reported 48 cases, and CCISD reported 20.

While FISD’s total active coronavirus case count is significantly higher than that of CCISD, FISD has about five times fewer people on its campuses. About 6,100 students and 800 staff are included in FISD’s case count data, while roughly 30,500 in-person students and 5,480 employees are included in counts at CCISD.

A total of 210 people within FISD—133 students and 77 staff members—have tested positive for COVID-19 this school year. CCISD has seen a combined total of 666 students and staffers test positive this school year. A total of 172 students and staffers are currently quarantined in FISD, and 1,063 are quarantined in CCISD; those figures account for just under 3% of the total on-campus population in their respective districts.


In Pearland ISD, 452 people have tested positive for COVID-19 this school year. Of the 69 active cases, 36 are on-campus students and 33 are employees, as reported by the district Jan. 6. There are 21,087 students and 2,742 employees in PISD, according to the district’s website.

In Alvin ISD, there are 9 active COVID-19 cases and 372 recovered cases. Four of the active cases are students, and five are staffers. There are 27,083 students and 3,683 employees in the district, according to the AISD website. The city of Alvin has seen 52 COVID-19 cases since mid-March 2020, per Galveston County Health District data.

Pearland ISD and Alvin ISD are both located within Brazoria County, where daily reported case counts continue to rise. The county surpassed 300 cases reported in one day Dec. 15, then surpassed 400 cases reported in one day Dec. 26. The city of Pearland has 1,468 active cases as of Jan. 5, the highest such total for any city in the county, which has 4,157 active cases total.

As case counts surge in the Houston area, COVID-19 hospitalization rates in Galveston County, Harris County, Brazoria County and numerous other surrounding counties will result in tighter restrictions on local businesses. The number of COVID-19 patients in Harris County hospitals surpassed 2,000 on Jan. 4, including more than 500 patients in intensive care unit beds.

An average of about 17 new cases was reported each day in the city of Friendswood from Dec. 23-Jan. 4, the highest rates since mid-summer, per GCHD data. More than 2,900 new Galveston County cases have been reported since Dec. 23.

By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.

By Haley Morrison
Haley Morrison came to Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after graduating from Baylor University. She was promoted to editor in February 2019. Haley primarily covers city government.