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COVID-19

News >  K-12 education

Spokane-area schools report overall uptick in COVID-19 cases

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 22, 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)

Time will tell whether a rise in vaccination rates will lead to a downturn in COVID-19 cases at local schools.

For now, positive tests are rising again in school districts in Spokane and Kootenai counties following three weeks of declines.

The largest percentage increase came in the Mead School District, which on Friday reported 105 positive cases in the last 10 days. A week earlier, that number had dropped to 71.

Central Valley also reported a jump in its two-week window – from 88 cases last week to 118.

However, the largest district, Spokane Public Schools, bucked the trend; its one-week window showed 97 positive cases and 536 people in quarantine. A week earlier, those numbers were 115 and 584, respectively.

Hotspots include Shadle Park High School (14 positive tests and 43 people in quarantine) and Mullan Road Elementary (6 and 34, respectively).

Meanwhile, Cheney had its lowest numbers so far this year: 22 positive cases in the last two weeks.

West Valley reported 47 positive tests in the last two weeks among students and staff.

Coeur d’Alene saw its numbers continue to stabilize, with 52 positive tests in the previous two weeks. The district has 162 students and staff “out of buildings” owing to positive tests or close contact, well off the 500-plus earlier in the year.

Most districts reported high percentages of staff receiving vaccinations.

Out of 1,774 employees at Mead, 250 people applied for exemptions, with 244 granted and eight still in progress.

Cheney reported similar numbers, with 97 exemption requests out of 753 employees and only one resignation.

At West Valley, 82 staff members completed the exemption process and three elected to resign.

Accommodations are similar at most districts, but typically include wearing a KN-95 or three-ply surgical mask.

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