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Friday, October 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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COVID-19 surges in Coeur d’Alene schools; two new cases at Spokane Public Schools

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 9, 2020

Lake City High School posted social-distancing regulations outside its stadium during a high school football game against Lakeland on Friday, Aug. 28, at Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene. (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-RE)
Lake City High School posted social-distancing regulations outside its stadium during a high school football game against Lakeland on Friday, Aug. 28, at Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene. (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-RE)

There were 16 people who tested positive for COVID-19 this week within the Coeur d’Alene School District, resulting in 171 people being quarantined.

The sharp increase in positive tests and quarantines were reported Friday after Coeur d’Alene schools returned to full-time, in-person learning this week.

The COVID-19 incidence in the district is the highest in the area.

As of Friday, Spokane Public Schools reported two people who tested positive, one each in Whitman Elementary and North Central High School. The district’s new COVID dashboard disclosed there were 57 people under quarantine at 28 schools.

The district reported that neither of the people in the Friday report were infected inside school buildings, and no students or staff have had close contact inside the two schools with a person with a confirmed case.

Last week Spokane Schools officials reported two positive cases at Lidgerwood Elementary.

The Mead School District reported nine positive tests in the last two weeks, while the Central Valley School District had four positive tests.

Coeur d’Alene opened the school year on Sept. 14 in a hybrid model at all grade levels.

The hot spot in Coeur d’Alene has been Lake City High School, which reported six positive cases this week that resulted in 97 people being quarantined.

Another three cases and 17 quarantines were reported this week at the Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities.

Across the Coeur d’Alene district, all but one of the 16 positives resulted from transmission outside of school.

“That’s been a bright spot,” said Scott Maben, director of communications for the district.

However, the move to from a hybrid model to full in-person education has roughly doubled the number of targets.

“Whether the transmission happens in or out of the school, it’s going to have a ripple effect,” Maben said.

“Social distancing now isn’t as easy as it was when we were splitting kids up. There are still places where transmission of COVID-19 can take place,” he said.

Maben acknowledged that “it’s distressing for families to get that call” requiring a quarantine.

“But we have 10,000 students that we need to be thinking about in 18 buildings,” Maben said.

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