Despite beginning the year with distance learning only, the Central Valley School District has seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its staff and students during the past two weeks.
The district also has 18 people with close contact to the confirmed cases, it reported Tuesday on its online dashboard.
Until this week in the Inland Northwest, only districts with hybrid learning models had reported COVID-19 cases.
The second-largest district in Spokane County, with 15,500 students, Central Valley opened the school year on Sept. 9 with a model that allows only staff and special education students to be at school campuses in person.
Reached Tuesday night, a district spokesperson could not say when each case was confirmed. And because of privacy issues, the district could not say whether coronavirus had been confirmed in teachers or students.
The dashboard, which is updated daily, keeps track of current cases and close contacts.
According to the dashboard, the seven positive tests occurred at four schools. Ponderosa and South Pines elementary schools and Selkirk Middle School had two each while the Central Valley Virtual Learning Center had one.
Of the 17 close contacts, eight occurred at Selkirk Middle School.
A handful of COVID-19 cases have surfaced in four other districts in the region.
As of Tuesday afternoon, positive cases had been reported at two buildings in the Deer Park School District, Lakeland Junior High School in Rathdrum, Skyway Elementary in Coeur d’Alene and Bonners Ferry High School.
The most recent cases surfaced in Deer Park.
On Tuesday, Superintendent Travis Hanson said that three staff members or students have tested positive since the school year began on Sept. 8.
Two of the cases occurred at Deer Park Middle School and the other at Deer Park Elementary School.
On Monday, the district told families in a letter that they would be contacted if their student was considered to be in close contact with people who tested positive for coronavirus.
All three people are in quarantine, Hanson said.
Like many rural districts, Deer Park is using a hybrid learning model, with students in buildings on alternating days.
However both cases at the middle school are believed to have been contracted outside of school, Hanson said.
The cases at other school districts surfaced last week.
At Skyway Elementary in Coeur d’Alene, 24 people were asked to quarantine last week after one person tested positive.
Also last week, Lakeland Junior High School announced that one person had tested positive.
In Bonners Ferry, 60 students were quarantined last week after four cases were reported at the high school.
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