Fall 2021 school reopening: Stats so far

The COVID-19 Data Dispatch has, clearly, been pretty focused on school reopening in recent weeks. But our “Opening” project is primarily retrospective, looking back at schools that were successful last school year. This fall, the Delta variant and additional political pressures have made reopening success even harder to achieve.

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Opening profile: Personal responsibility in Andrews, Texas

Andrews Independent School District, in West Texas, prioritized personal responsibility, giving families information to make individual choices about their children’s safety. Partnerships with the local health department, outdoor classes, increased ventilation, and an intensive cleaning regimen also helped keep cases down — even though the district did not follow all CDC protocols, such as required quarantines and masks for the youngest students.

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What’s up with testing in Texas?

The COVID Tracking Project published a blog post this week in which three of our resident Texas experts, Conor Kelly, Judith Oppenheim, and Pat Kelly, describe a dramatic shift in Texas testing numbers which has taken place in the past two weeks. On August 2, the number of tests reported by Texas’s Department of State Health Services (DSHS) began to plummet. The state went from a reported 60,000 tests per day at the end of July to about half that number by August 12.

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Antigen tests: fast, cheap, and almost diagnostic

In May, however, a new type of testing came on the scene. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized its first antigen test on May 9, and its second antigen test on July 6. By the end of July, both types of antigen tests had been distributed to hundreds of nursing homes across the country.

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