Houston-area school districts offering COVID testing, vaccines | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

Some school districts are concerned about the omicron variant’s potential impact once school starts back.

HOUSTON — It wasn’t a sporting event drawing a crowd this week at Alief ISD’s Crump Stadium. Instead, students and staff showed up at the venue for an opportunity to get a free COVID-19 rapid test.

“Negative!,” said science teacher Dave Jenkins after getting a test. “We’re good.”

Jenkins is vaccinated but wanted to check his status before Christmas no matter what the test might reveal.

“My ex-wife and one of my daughters tested positive last week,” said Jenkins. “I figured four to seven days later, since I was helping them put up Christmas lights, I’d follow up and make sure I’m okay.”

Alief ISD is offering testing again next week in an effort to slow the spread.

“You get in line and they come out to the car and swab your nasal passages,” said district employee Hugh Arrington. “And that’s it, and just wait.”

Harris County Public Health said the growing concern about the omicron variant is increasing interest in testing and vaccinations.

The health department is partnering with Spring ISD next Tuesday to offer free COVID shots for ages five and up at the district’s Planet Ford Stadium located on Cypresswood Drive.

“Especially during the holiday season, life is busy,” said Dr. Ericka Brown with HCPH. “So we provide free testing, free COVID vaccines, free boosters in as many areas as possible.” 

A number of districts, including Houston ISD, offers on-campus vaccinations during the school year and are reminding families during the break to register for continued opportunities once the holidays are over.

“The goal is to get everyone vaccinated and/or get their booster and, as necessary, to get them tested,” said Brown.

Many said they’d like to help make sure schools are as COVID-free as possible.

“Last year was tough with at-home learning and all the virtual stuff,” said Jenkins. “I’m glad we’re in the classroom but I hope that can continue.”  “It’s better for the kids.”

There are a lot of districts in our area as well as private schools. Check out social media platforms and websites for COVID-related information.

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