It may be too early to say that the worst is over for local school districts in their struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, numbers were down slightly overall this week in Spokane and Kootenai counties, to 806 positive cases as of Friday. That’s down from 941 last week.
The largest district, Spokane Public Schools, also has the most people in quarantine with 514, a decrease from 624 a week ago.
The Central Valley School District continues to see high numbers, with 168 positive cases in the last 14 days – though that, too, is down from last week’s total of 172. Mead currently has 112 positive cases.
Numbers are difficult to compare, and almost certainly higher, as Spokane posts a one-week snapshot, while Central Valley measures positive cases during the past 14 days and Mead goes back just 10 days.
Some districts have opted not to post COVID numbers.
Coeur d’Alene uses yet another method, posting weekly and cumulative totals. As of Friday, the hard-hit district had 134 active cases; that’s a sharp drop from last week’s 227.
Also, the number of students and staff forced out of buildings by positive tests or close contact with infected individuals fell from 450 to 394.
More good news: No districts announced any shifts to remote learning, as St. Maries and Garfield-Palouse did last week.
The news wasn’t all good, though. The Cheney School District hit a record 78 positive cases in the last 14 days, while Riverside had 36.
In Spokane, the hardest-hit schools were Bemiss, Stevens and Wilson elementaries, each with at least 30 people quarantined.
In Central Valley, the district’s three high schools had a combined 55 positive cases in the last 14 days.
The biggest hotspot was Ponderosa Elementary School, with 23 positive cases, two of which were the result of in-school contact.
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