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Monkeypox on campus: N. Houston and Fort Bend ISD schools report separate cases

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Monkeypox has hit classrooms in the Houston area.

Two separate campuses — one in northern Houston and the other in Fort Bend ISD — confirmed cases of the virus on Monday.

Here’s how officials announced the cases and what each school is doing in response:

IDEA Public Schools, Hardy Campus

IDEA Public SchoolsA national network of charter schools with locations in four states, announced Monday afternoon that a case of monkeypox was recently reported at IDEA Hardy campus, located on 1930’s Little York Road in northern Houston.

“We are working closely with Harris County Public Health (HCPH) to identify and advise anyone who may have been exposed,” a partial statement said. However, HCPH said the matter falls within the jurisdiction of the Houston Health Department.

IDEA Public Schools did not provide details on whether the case involved a student, teacher or support staff member, citing privacy protocols.

“IDEA Hardy facility staff thoroughly cleaned all areas and swept classrooms and frequently touched surfaces, as well as provided additional cleaning supplies for disinfection,” the statement continued.

The school system added that it is keeping families informed about the virus, but did not say whether part or all of the campus should be closed.

ABC13 spoke to two people with children or relatives who are IDEA Hardy students. Neither said they had received any notification of the positive case. A district spokesperson said all parents should have received a letter.

Last Wednesday, HCPH reported that a child under the age of 2 had a false-positive test result for monkey pox. It was not immediately confirmed whether the child contracted his or her rash in a daycare or classroom.

SEE MORE: CDC Confirms False Positive Monkeypox Test Result for Harris County Child Under 2

IDEA Hardy is a relatively young school, opening in 2020, according to the campus website. Current enrollment is approximately 450 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The campus began classes for the school year on August 4.

Ridge Point High School

Fort Bend ISD confirmed its own case in the district.

A student at Ridge Point High School in Missouri City brought the matter up, the district announced Monday evening.

“Fort Bend County Health and Human Services is investigating the matter. Families and employees of Ridge Point High School have been notified of the matter,” it said in a statement. “Epidemiologists in Fort Bend County are conducting contact tracing to identify potential exposures based on proximity and will notify individuals directly if they are at risk.”

The district added that it is working with local health officials and following CDC guidelines, including frequent and ongoing clean-up protocols.

Ridge Point began its school year on August 10. Data from The Texas Tribune showed that 3,060 students were enrolled last school year.

SEE MORE: Autopsy to Determine If Monkeypox Caused Death in Hospital, Harris Co Officials Say

For updates on this story, follow Briana Conner on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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