Krum ISD has taken the lead in the percentage of students and staffers who have contracted the coronavirus, according to a Denton Record-Chronicle analysis of state data.
Out of the 11 districts included in the analysis, Krum ISD has the eighth largest staff population and the ninth largest student enrollment.
Staff numbers are taken from the Texas Education Agency website from 2019, so they likely lag behind for some districts. Enrollment numbers were verified by the state government and reflect the number of students as of Sept. 28.
School districts are required to report confirmed infections to the state. That information is released to the public in weekly installments jointly between TEA and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Denton County Public Health has a similar public-facing program, but it’s voluntary, so fewer districts participate. For example, participating districts had reported 882 student and 267 staff cases to DCPH by Friday afternoon.
Districts across the county had reported 1,220 student and 359 staff cases to state officials by Tuesday afternoon.
The most recent batch of information was released Thursday and includes data through Nov. 17. It showed an additional 310 students and 110 staffers across the districts had tested positive for the virus over the previous week.
The districts analyzed were Argyle, Aubrey, Denton, Krum, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Little Elm, Northwest, Pilot Point, Ponder and Sanger.
Lewisville, Denton and Northwest ISDs take up the first, second and third slots across nearly all numerical categories. That makes sense because they are the first-, second- and third-largest districts for overall population.
Over the past few weeks, smaller districts have tended to have larger shares of infected students and staffers compared to their populations.
For example, Krum ISD had 10.83% of its staffers test positive for the virus by Nov. 17 based on 2019 staff numbers from TEA and recent virus numbers from DSHS.
For comparison, Argyle ISD had the second-highest rate with 5.52%, and Sanger came in third with 4.57% using the same methodology.
The percentages were less severe in the student populations in the 11 school districts. Krum ISD still led the pack, but with 2.66% of students infected.
Sanger came in second with 1.56%, and Pilot Point came in third with 1.48%.
Overall, Krum, Sanger and Argyle ISDs had the first-, second- and third-highest rates for total cases when compared with combined student and staff populations.
As in past weeks, school districts couldn’t trace the overwhelming majority — 74.3% — of confirmed infections to either on- or off-campus activities.
Denton County Public Health Director Matt Richardson, addressing Denton ISD school board members on Tuesday, said he didn’t believe the bulk of transmissions across the county were being spread as a result of in-person classes.
In fact, people ages 30 to 69 seemed to be leading the surge, whereas the same had previously been true for people in their 20s.