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Texas A&M COVID-19 positivity rate remains high, but health officials hopeful trends will go down toward spring

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 11:30 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 4:23 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M health experts say the new semester is going well, despite the high number of people testing positive for COVID-19. Their most recent positivity rate is 25.5% with 937 people testing positive last week.

The first week of January the positivity rate was already at 23.4%.

Dr. Martha Dannenbaum, Texas A&M Student Health Services Director says they expect cases to start decreasing going into the spring.

”We’re certainly in a better place because we have vaccination. We have therapeutics and we know so much more about how this condition transmits, we know it’s respiratory. We’re not as worried about the table and the door handles as we were two years ago,” Dannenbaum said. “We know we have individuals who have tested positive in looking at our positivity rate on the sites that Texas A&M monitors it’s been pretty stable,” she added.

So far 2,951 people associated with Texas A&M have tested positive this month. The positivity rate for the three week period is 24.5%.

“We know we have individuals who have tested positive in looking at our positivity rate on the sites that Texas A&M monitors it’s been pretty stable,” Dannenbaum said.

Doctors are hopeful we are reaching the peak of the highly contagious omicron variant.

“I think we can expect to begin to see this leveling out and then trending downward as we move into the spring,” said Dannenbaum.

“I think one of the things that the faculty worked with the administration on, which is really significant, is to allow students who test positive via home test to use that as a university-excused absence,” said Dale Rice, Texas A&M Faculty Senate Speaker and Instructional Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Practices.

Rice has expressed ongoing concerns during the new semester.

“I think there is a real effort to try and communicate that with our classes. I know that I have told my students that if they are not feeling well it’s important to stay home and that I will do everything that we need to do to work with them,” said Rice.

Meanwhile Bryan ISD officials say they are seeing an above average amount of cases in their students. Bryan ISD’s Dashboard shows 37 current staff with positive cases and 294 current students with positive cases. They tell us they saw staff cases rise at the start of the semester but it’s been below 40 cases for more than a week and a half.

College Station ISD’s Dashboard shows three new staff cases, 34 new student cases and 302 active cases.

“They climbed until this week. It looks like our numbers this week are going to be lower than they were last week. Just about every indicator that we look at they were lower than they were last week and they peaked last week hopefully,” said Chuck Glenewinkel, College Station ISD Director of Communications.

“We get through these next few weeks and we see what is the impact of our students all coming back and adding to our population and what our hospitals are doing. I think that’s going to really, really help us move into more of a routine. I don’t want to say a new normal,” said Dannenbaum.

Texas A&M has not made any plans for widespread remote learning this semester.

We have our previous story on back to school concerns here.

State health guidance still requires public school students stay home 10 days if they test positive for the virus.

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