At Planet Ford Stadium, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee leads group in a moment of silence for those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Chair of the Congressional Coronavirus Task Force launches 33rd and 34th testing site.

The locations for the two new testing, children’s initiative and food distribution sites are:

  • Planet Ford Stadium, 23802 Cypresswood Dr, Spring, TX 77373
  • Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, 8813 Lockwood Dr, Houston, TX 77016

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is currently reporting a total of 752,501 cases of COVID-19 in the State of Texas, which includes an estimated 69,597 active cases. Nationally as of October 1st, 2020, the United States has 7,213,419 confirmed cases and 206,402 confirmed deaths. The U.S. accounts for nearly a quarter of the world’s COVID-19 cases and coronavirus-related deaths.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association, since the onset of the pandemic, over 624,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19. Between February and July 2020, there were a total of 391,814 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases in individuals aged less than 21 years, with 121 coronavirus deaths reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among the 121 deaths, 45% were Hispanic, 29% Black, and 4% were American Indian/Alaska Native, suggesting that 78% of the reported deaths among children were minorities. “Although Hispanic, Black, and AI/AN persons represent 41% of the U.S. population aged <21 years (4), these groups accounted for approximately 75% of deaths in persons aged <21 years,” the study said.

Children of all ages now make up 10% of all U.S cases, up from 2% in April, According to reports from The American Academy of Pediatrics on Tuesday, September 26, 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday, September 25, 2020, that the incidence of COVID-19 in school-age children began rising in early September as many students returned to their classrooms.

The CDC’s most recent guidance acknowledges that children can spread the virus in specific settings. As President Trump has demanded, fully reopening classrooms without appropriate resources will endanger the lives of hundreds of thousands of educators.

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis estimates 1.5 million teachers — nearly 1 in four — have health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness if they contracted Covid-19. Without significant and immediate federal relief for schools and state and local governments, public education will suffer devastating cuts. As a result, students will continue to fall behind, particularly students of color, students with disabilities, and students in under-resourced schools. Absent a federal response, unprecedented state and local budget shortfalls will lead to mass teacher layoffs and deep cuts to education services. Budget shortfalls are projected to reach nearly $500 billion for state governments alone. Given that public K-12 and higher education funding constituted roughly 37 percent of state budgets and 20 percent of local budgets, these shortfalls – left unaddressed – will inevitably lead to mass teacher layoffs and painful cuts to education services. By July, 900,000 public school employees had already lost their jobs, and the American Federation of Teachers issued a report projecting over 1.4 million public school employee layoffs without federal action.

“New data shows youth under the age of 19 in Harris County account for over 17,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “As students prepare to return to school, testing children must be a priority, and we cannot take this lightly or for granted. We cannot rest because cases among children are mild, and only a few children may die; there is a lack of humanity attached in such remarks– we must take care of the youth. “Because children are much more likely to be asymptomatic, it is vital that they are provided with immediate testing to prevent a more deadly community spread as the school year approaches. We cannot stop; we must not stop testing,” said Congresswoman Jackson Lee.