Dear Xavier Families,
In light of multiple positive indicators, we have decided to make masks optional on the Xavier campus for all faculty, staff, and students starting Monday, November 29.
We took into consideration several factors before making this decision:
1. Harris County Covid data has been improving https://covid-harriscounty.hub.arcgis.com/
2. The test positivity rate has been decreasing steadily
3. The number of new COVID cases is decreasing weekly
4. The new COVID hospitalization growth rate is dramatically decreasing
5. An FDA advisory panel has voted to support the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children 5 and older
6. Students in our community have already begun to get their vaccinations
7. 100% vaccination rate among Xavier staff, and 99% vaccination rate among students
8. On-Site Rapid Testing
9. Implementation of COVID PCR Pool testing on campus starting November 29. (see below for details)
We understand and respect that some families will want their children to continue wearing masks to school each day, and we fully support this decision.
Although we are changing our mask requirements, we will continue to use layered prevention strategies to protect those on our campus. We will continue to encourage frequent hand washing throughout the school day and appropriate distancing in the classroom. Additionally, we will continue to use portable air filtration devices and provide updates on any potential COVID exposure.
Additionally, Xavier has chosen to participate in Operation Expanded Testing, which provides COVID-19 PCR testing to K-12 schools. The school will be doing twice-weekly random testing for registered students and staff. We are asking all students and staff to Opt into the program by registering at: Assure Covid-19 Testing - Affinity Empowering (affinitytesting.com). The process takes less than 5 minutes and will help us mitigate any possible Covid at school. PCR tests will be administered by the student (under supervision) when they arrive at school. The test is performed with a lower anterior Q-tip-sized nasal swab placed just into the lower part of the nose and swirled around three times to collect the sample.
Lastly, we will continue to monitor data for our area and make protocol changes if necessary.
Thank you for your support as we keep our students, staff, and families' well-being our top priority.
David and Richard