SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Several school districts in Washington state and Idaho have chosen not to report COVID-19 cases at their schools since opening in August, painting an incomplete picture of how the virus is affecting students.
Among the largest districts in Spokane County and Kootenai County in Idaho, only Coeur d’Alene, Central Valley and Mead are reporting newly confirmed cases in a daily dashboard, The Spokesman-Review reported Friday. Spokane Public Schools and others are posting weekly updates.
District officials say Spokane had a spike with 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases compared to two last week, and 45 people in quarantine. The cases affected five buildings, including four cases at Bemiss Elementary and two cases each at Ferris High School and Franklin Elementary.
The Coeur d’Alene School District also saw a surge in cases with 19 positive tests as of Friday and about 300 people in quarantine, including one out of every seven students at Lake City High School. Superintendent Steven Cook said as of Monday students at Coeur d’Alene, Lake City and Venture high schools must return to their previous schedule of attending classes in-person two days a week and remotely the other three days.
The district is scheduled to meet to discuss plans for other schools in the district. Any approved changes will take be implemented Oct. 26.
Central Valley School District reported six cases in the last two weeks, resulting in 48 people being quarantined, officials said. Of those, three positive tests and 15 quarantines occurred at Central Valley High School.
Mead School District reported 11 cases and 116 people quarantined in the last two weeks as of Thursday.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
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