As the start date for in-person learning creeps closer, parents in Fort Worth are once again weighing whether it’s safe to send kids back to school.
“The decision has already been made for my family that we would like to continue with virtual learning,” said Roxanne Martinez.
Martinez has two fourth graders enrolled at MH Moore Elementary.
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They live in the Diamond Hill neighborhood, a predominantly Hispanic community.
“The reality for some communities is that we have been hit significantly harder by COVID,” Martinez said.
Martinez said she and her husband are cancer survivors and are at high risk of having serious side effects if they contract COVID-19. She said sending her kids back to school is a risk she isn’t willing to take.
With community spread still at the highest ‘substantial’ level, Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said Tuesday that remote learning is still recommended, pointing to a recent rise in COVID-like illness.
“I'm worried we might see a spike,” Taneja said.
The word of warning comes as experts await a potential spike in cases from Labor Day weekend, and as smaller districts across North Texas respond to positive cases on campus.
Two schools in the Krum ISD in Denton County are closed after a total of eight people tested positive.
Community ISD in Collin County closed its only middle school following eight positive tests.
As of Tuesday, Celina ISD has 26 active cases throughout the district which is a decrease from last week. The timing, attributed by school officials, to the start of in-person learning last month.
“Even though you may be wearing masks and have other protections but there's only so much they can do if you're in a really confined spaces and really close together,” said Dr. Diana Cervantes, an epidemiologist with UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.