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East Valley School District cancels classes Monday after COVID-19 outbreak

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 9, 2022

A rapid COVID-19 test swab is processed at Palos Verdes High School in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. Spokane's East Valley School District will be closed Monday due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases among staff and students, the district's superintendent announced Sunday evening.   (Brittany Murray)
A rapid COVID-19 test swab is processed at Palos Verdes High School in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. Spokane's East Valley School District will be closed Monday due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases among staff and students, the district's superintendent announced Sunday evening.  (Brittany Murray)

The East Valley School District has canceled classes Monday, citing a surge in coronavirus cases that has affected students and staff.

“Last week was a struggle for all of us as we had to navigate both the weather as well as positive COVID tests for students and staff,” the district wrote in an alert on its website, confirmed by Superintendent Brian Talbott on Sunday evening. “Unfortunately, yesterday and again today, we have lost additional staff due to positive test results.”

“At this point, I do not believe that we have the capacity to successfully and safely hold school tomorrow,” the message, authored by Talbott, read.

Washington State Superintendent for Public Instruction Chris Reykdal acknowledged Friday that some buildings and districts may need to shutter temporarily as the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to spread in the state.

“It is our No. 1 priority to keep the school in-person,” Reykdal said during a news conference Friday, “Although we’re really challenged with omicron.”

All schools will be closed, but COVID-19 testing will be available at Trent Elementary School, 3303 N. Pines Road in Spokane Valley, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, the district said.

“I am not sure what the rest of the week has in store for us. We will use the day tomorrow to problem solve and hopefully make some headway on how best to support all buildings and departments,” the message continued.

The district reported 28 confirmed staff cases and more than 80 student cases on Friday, with dozens more in close contact asked to quarantine.

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