Coronavirus updates: Number of active cases drops for some southeast Houston school districts

Coronavirus trends differ across the Alvin, Pearland, Friendswood and Clear Creek ISD campuses. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Coronavirus trends differ across the Alvin, Pearland, Friendswood and Clear Creek ISD campuses. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Coronavirus trends differ across the Alvin, Pearland, Friendswood and Clear Creek ISD campuses. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Coronavirus case surges are slowing across the Greater Houston area, and these declines are reflected in the hallways of some southeast Houston ISDs.

At the start of 2021, Clear Creek ISD reported some of its lowest case count rates since mid-October, and Alvin ISD had fewer than 10 active cases. Friendswood ISD began the year reporting one of its highest case counts to date, and Pearland ISD started the spring semester on campus with almost 70 cases among students and staff.

While both FISD and CCISD reported new case count highs for the 2020-21 school year in January, counts have since fallen significantly.

FISD reported its record high Jan. 8 at 55 active cases; CCISD’s new high came about two weeks later Jan. 17, when the district reported 171 active cases. As of Feb. 4, when district data was last publicly updated, FISD had 18 active cases, and CCISD had 143.

There are about five times fewer people on FISD campuses than at CCISD: 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.

The city of Friendswood has seen 2,040 COVID-19 cases since mid-March, per Galveston County Health District data. Galveston County has 7,775 active cases as of Feb. 5. Parts of CCISD are in Harris County, where active cases are dropping and the positivity rate is slowly declining. Click here for recent data updates from the Harris County Public Health Department.

Farther west, case counts at PISD and AISD have remained about the same or continued to rise since January.

A total of 69 active cases were reported in PISD on Jan. 6; a month later Feb. 4, the active case count was 64. Of the active cases, 47 are on-campus students, and 17 are employees, as reported by the district Feb. 4. There are 21,087 students and 2,742 employees in PISD, according to the district’s website, and 68% of those students are attending classes on campus.

Alvin ISD began the calendar year with just nine active cases and, as of Feb. 4, is operating in the “significant community transmission” stage of its COVID-19 response protocol with 119 active cases. Of the active cases, 90 are among students, and 39 are among staffers. Alvin High School has 25 active cases, and the remaining 94 are scattered across campuses. There are 27,083 students and 3,683 employees in the district, according to the AISD website.

Start and dismissal times will be staggered and extended, with noncritical events and gatherings potentially postponed, until the district moves to a minimal or moderate transmission phase of its protocol, per AISD’s website. The city of Alvin has seen 58 COVID-19 cases since mid-March, per GCHD data.

PISD and AISD are both located within Brazoria County, where COVID-19 case counts are gradually declining. Cases surged Jan. 21 after a brief drop in daily cases reported then began to taper off. The city of Pearland has 1,261 active cases as of Feb. 4, the highest such total for any city in the county. Brazoria County has 3,536 active cases as of Feb. 4.

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.