New school safety tool to be added to San Antonio’s COVID-19 dashboard for parents

Warning indicator will reflect whether it's safe to return to classrooms

SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio is working on adding a new warning indicator to its COVID-19 dashboard that could help parents who are trying to decide whether to send their children back into the classroom.

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One of the COVID-19 community response coalitions that is guiding the city and county on reopening schools made the suggestion, Dr. Ruth Berggren, an infectious disease specialist with UT Health San Antonio’s Long School of Medicine, said on Thursday during a Q&A with KSAT.

“There’s going to be a new indicator bar that has to do with how conditions are relative to the safety of going back to school,” Berggren said.

Berggren, one of the group's experts, said the bar will be color-coded.

“There’ll be a red, yellow, green schematic. And a variety of parameters will factor into whether it’s a red, yellow or green situation, things like percent positive tests and the doubling time of disease rates in the city,” she said.

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The city uses warning indicators, including doubling time, the weekly percentage of positive tests and the health system stress score, to measure the spread of COVID-19 in our community and assess whether the virus is under control.

Progress indicators -- which include the number of hospitalizations, the number of new cases within 14 days, testing capacity and case investigation and contact tracing capacity -- show the goals our city must reach to flatten the curve.

It’s unclear when the new school safety indicator will be added to the COVID-19 dashboard.

The week of August 3, the community will be able to provide input and submit their questions to the coalition. More information is expected to be released at a later time.

WATCH: Part 2 of Berggren’s interview

An infectious disease specialist talks about the changes that could happen in schools in order to lessen the spread of COVID-19.

About the Authors:

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Brina is the Executive Producer of the NightBeat and KSAT Explains. She has been with KSAT since 2015. She is a Houston native and proud to call San Antonio home.