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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  K-12 education

Most Spokane-area school districts see drop in COVID-19 cases – but not all

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 18, 2021

This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient.  (HOGP)
This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (HOGP)

The COVID-19 pandemic is retreating from local schools.

And while no one is ready to declare victory, the incidence of positive cases and quarantines fell this week to the lowest levels since the school year began.

Few students and families are likely to be happier than those in St. Maries, Idaho, where schools reopened this week after almost a month of remote learning following a major outbreak.

“The numbers are looking really good, and we’re getting back to normal,” said Superintendent Alica Holthaus, who was forced to close schools on Sept. 21 after 30% of students had missed class the day before.

However, St. Maries students will be required to wear masks for now.

The sharpest drops occurred in several of the area’s largest districts. Central Valley, which reported 151 positive tests in the two-week period ending Oct. 8, was down to 88 on Friday.

Also on Oct. 8, Mead had 110 positives in the previous 10 days, but only 71 on Friday.

Coeur d’Alene also saw major improvement, with 51 new cases this week; that’s well off the 87 reported a week ago and less than half the 109 cases reported on Oct. 1.

However, the area’s largest district, Spokane Public Schools, reported an increase. According to the one-week snapshot issued Friday, it has 115 positive cases – up from 73 last week.

But Spokane Schools reported a slight decrease from last week in quarantined students and staff, from 607 to 584.

Hotspots include Cooper and Garfield elementary schools, which had a combined 119 people in quarantine.

Cheney School District, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, has 51 cases in the last two weeks. That’s down from 71 a week ago.

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