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

COVID-19 cases continue steady climb in area schools

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.  (HOGP)

COVID-19 cases in Spokane County schools are rising to their highest levels since before the omicron surge.

Entering the Memorial Day weekend, districts are reporting almost 400 combined positive tests on their latest dashboards.

That’s well below the nearly 2,000 cases seen during the height of the omicron surge but significantly higher than only six weeks ago.

Only two weeks ago, area schools reported about 150 cases.

The area’s largest district, Spokane Public Schools, reported on Friday that 114 students and staff had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and entered a school building in the previous five school days.

Hotspots included Jefferson Elementary with 16 cases, North Central High School with 10 and Lewis and Clark High School with nine.

Cases were in single digits in early April but have risen steadily in recent weeks. The district reported 90 positive tests a week ago and 64 on May 13.

Central Valley reported 70 cases among students and staff during the previous 10 days – more than triple the 23 posted two weeks ago.

Of those cases, 10 were are Riverbend Elementary School.

The county’s third-largest district, Mead, had not updated its weekly dashboard as of about 6 p.m. Friday. Last week it reported 59 cases among students and staff.

The Central Valley School District reported 40 positive cases, up from 23 two weeks earlier.

Percentage-wise, the area’s biggest trouble spot is the Cheney School District. Since May 16, the district of 4,800 students has reported 56 cases.

Not far behind is West Valley, which on Friday reported 38 cases. The district has an enrollment of about 3,700.

East Valley’s latest dashboard, updated on Monday, showed 17 cases. Medical Lake had eight cases as of Friday.

Coeur d’Alene reported 14 cases this week.