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Both Laredo school districts disregard health authority’s order

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:22 AM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - So far, Laredo nor Webb County have had a COVID death of a child, but the numbers of kids infected continue to rise.

Over the weekend, a difference in opinion between Laredo’s health authority, members of the medical community, the state’s commissioner of health, laredo’s two school districts, and a representative of the Texas Education Agency surfaced at a meeting where each presented their case.

After conducting an emergency meeting Saturday morning, both UISD and LISD have agreed to forgo the health authority’s quarantine order of certain sections of 14 UISD schools and three LISD schools --essentially voting to keep schools fully open less than 24 hours after Laredo Health Authority Dr. Victor Trevino announced the orders.

During UISD’s board meeting, there was a feeling of frustration and concer

“They’re getting involved too much with United and they’re trying to run United.”

“The order just does not make sense.”

According to Dr. Victor Trevino, the quarantine order was meant to notify the public about the reported infection and the investigation on the affected area --not to shut down the school.

He says in speaking with the state they have identified this coming week as the peak of infections in the state.

“We will be hit the apex and the surge of pediatric cases next week so there will be an oversaturation of pediatric cases as a result,” Dr. Trevino said. “I have given my medical orders and if they chose to disregard them knowing that the surge is coming and that we don’t have no pediatric intensive care unit and that is your prerogative.”

In a joint statement released by the districts Saturday evening, they conclude that the number of cases in each school district do not substantiate or “rise to the level to order a broad quarantine.”

This is a sentiment that was echoed by TEA’s Deputy Commissioner of Standards and Engagement.

“To me, it’s very alarming that you have a local health authority that has issued a closure order on these campuses thus depriving students of the very education that you work so hard to provide to them on a day-to-day basis,” TEA Deputy Dr. Jeff Cottrill said at the meeting. “If we were to use the threshold that is used in Webb County with Laredo ISD’s order and United ISD’s order, I don’t think we’re going to have school any day this school year.”

What he’s referring to is Dr. Trevino’s measurement of quarantine.

During a Digital News Desk interview Friday night, the doctor explained that four positive cases is the threshold to issue an order.

“This is not something that should be used by people not conducting the investigation. It’s based off various multipliers,” he said. “Four is a number we use but actually the outbreak of infection is two.”

He explains that the situation is more dire with Hispanic populations, as children are eight times more likely to get hospitalized.

Regardless of his advice, classes will resume as regularly scheduled come Monday morning.

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