TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — The rate of positive virus cases in Texas has soared to the highest levels of the pandemic and state officials are still unable to fully explain why.
The infection rate in the state was at a seven-day average of more than 24% on Thursday, meaning that nearly 1 in every 4 coronavirus tests were coming back positive.
The spike comes as thousands of Texas schools are reopening this week. In Tarrant County, virus cases have dropped off enough that conditions now meet public health goals for re-opening schools.
But health officials told CBS 11 News they don’t want to give campuses the green light just yet, although some parents are ready for the option.
Concerned that back to school could lead to a new cycle of spreading the coronavirus, health officials gave schools a list of key metrics the community needed to meet.
That list included having less than 2,000 cases per week, four weeks of stable or decreasing cases and people with COVID-like symptoms dropping for two weeks. Also on the list, COVID patients occupying 10% of hospital beds and an average positive test rate of 10% or lower.
“OK this is where we are now, where is your plan, how are we going to get there at the schools?” asked concerned parent Catherine Crudup.
The plan, at least for Fort Worth ISD, is still to start completely online, and reassess next month.
But many parents who were pushing for a choice for families, aren’t sure anymore that meeting data goals, makes a difference.
“I feel like the more and more that we’re getting into, that hope is getting smaller and smaller,” said parent Jennifer Steger.
Tarrant County Director Vinny Taneja said he isn’t comfortable saying schools should reopen.
He prefers to see fewer cases per week, and positive tests down to 5%, which the county hasn’t seen since March.