'We are all hands on deck here,' Conroe ISD Superintendent says regarding teacher shortages

The city of Houston and Harris County’s positivity rate is higher than the current state's number. Harris County officials say it's at its highest level since the pandemic started.

With the positivity rate in Harris County and Houston at some of its highest levels since the pandemic started many of the risk levels are going up.

RELATED: COVID-19 positivity rate in Houston at 'highest ever,' Mayor Turner confirms

"It’s a very high value," said Dr. Persse with the Houston Health Department. "I believe our last 14-day average was at 38%."

The positivity rate for Harris County is at 39%, both county and city higher than the state’s, which is at 36%.

"Of all the 38%, fortunately only a very small number is getting sick enough to require hospitalization. But with all of that, we have people getting sick enough that they can’t go into work," said Persse.


Employees and employers are feeling the impacts of the highly contagious omicron variant. 

"We are all hands on deck here," said Conroe ISD Superintendent, Dr. Curtis Null. 

Several school districts across the state are at a critical level for staffing and some are now shutting down for a few days. 

The superintendent of Conroe ISD moved their safety and risk level back to four on Thursday. 

RELATED: CDC data: Omicron now dominant COVID-19 variant in US

On Friday, over 900 employees called out sick the day before. On Thursday, over 750 substitute teachers were needed, but only 550 were available. 

"We have reached a point where we are fragile as we have ever been through this process with our ability to keep our schools open," said Null. "What would trigger us from closing schools is staff availability."

Sealy ISD announced Thursday schools will be closed on Tuesday due to COVID-19 cases, in hopes this will give people more time to quarantine over the long weekend.