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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

COVID-19 cases rising in schools following winter break

Lake City high school posted social distancing regulations outside their stadium during a high school football game against Lakeland on Friday, August 28, 2020, at Lake City High School in Coeur d'Alene, Id.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Reflecting trends in the overall population, COVID-19 numbers are soaring in local schools following winter break.

And while districts employ widely varying data on their COVID dashboards, most are showing an increase from December.

However, in-school transmission – a key metric as districts return more students to buildings – remains low.

Hardest-hit this week is the Central Valley School District, which on Wednesday reported 96 positive cases in the last 14 days, leading to 154 people quarantined after close contact.

However, none of the cases was the result of in-school contact, the district said.

During the same period, the Mead School District reported 59 positive tests and 83 people quarantined with no new in-school transmissions.

Spokane Public Schools, which posts a weekly snapshot each Friday, currently shows five positive cases during the week of Jan. 1-7, with 191 people in quarantine – also with no in-school transmission.

However, during Wednesday night’s school board meeting, the district showed 162 current confirmed cases.

Among smaller districts, Deer Park reports 12 positive cases in the last 14 days, with 69 people quarantined, while Medical Lake has six and 11, respectively.

As they have been most of the school year, metrics are higher in North Idaho.

As of Friday, Coeur d’Alene Schools had 71 people in isolation after testing positive for coronavirus. As of Wednesday, 238 were in quarantine after close contact.

The district has reported 74 new cases since Jan. 1.

Post Falls, which reports weekly, showed 15 active cases as of Monday; however, the district does not report quarantines.

The Lakeland School District publishes no quarantine data. However, it showed 238 total positive cases since Aug. 31. That’s up from 166 four weeks ago.