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Two test positive for COVID-19 at Lidgerwood Elementary with kindergartners’ return days away

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 1, 2020

The Spokane Public Schools district office at Main Avenue and Bernard Street.  (JESSE TINSLEY)
The Spokane Public Schools district office at Main Avenue and Bernard Street. (JESSE TINSLEY)
By Jim Allen and Maggie Quinlan The Spokesman-Review

Less than a week before kindergartners are scheduled to return to its buildings, Spokane Public Schools has two confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Lidgerwood Elementary School.

The district learned of the cases on Thursday morning, according to Sandra Jarrard, district communications director.

Citing privacy concerns, Jarrard said the district could not reveal whether the cases are teachers or students, or whether they have been in kindergarten classrooms.

It’s also unclear how the individuals were infected.

Board President Jerrall Haynes acknowledged the need to “be transparent … but in the context of privacy.”

However, Jarrard said that “families have been informed that their student has been exposed to a person that tested positive.”

Contact tracers are working to see who might have been exposed to the virus, Jarrard said. Lidgerwood has hosted a day camp since Sept. 21, according to the SPS website.

In-person learning, beginning with kindergartners on an alternating schedule, will begin on Wednesday at all elementary schools.

“This is not an outbreak at all whatsoever,” Jarrard said, noting that there are only two confirmed cases.

Jarrard said SPS has “an amazing” health care app all staff and students will be using to screen themselves daily for COVID-19. She could not immediately answer whether teachers are required to take COVID-19 tests on a regular basis.

Haynes added that by next week, the district expects to set up a COVID-19 dashboard, updated weekly, that will break down cases and other information by school.

According to the district website, “protocols are in place to respond to cases of COVID-19 reported to district health staff.”

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