SPOKANE, Wash. — A handful of schools in the Inland Northwest have reported coronavirus cases after reopening their buildings for in-person classes.
Coeur d'Alene Public Schools began its hybrid model on Monday, Sept. 14. An elementary school within the district announced on Wednesday that one individual has tested positive for coronavirus.
Other schools in North Idaho have also reported COVID-19 cases.
Spokane Public Schools is offering online classes only but some districts in the county, including Mead and Deer Park, are reopening with some form of in-person instruction.
Here is a list of the Inland Northwest schools that have reported coronavirus cases so far.
West Valley School District
According to West Valley School District Spokesperson Sue Shields, the district was told Friday a student at West Valley High School had tested positive for coronavirus.
Shield said the district worked with Spokane Regional Health to identify and contact staff and students who were close contacts to the student who tested positive. They are under a 14-day quarantine.
Shield said the case has not been attributed to school spread.
The district will notify close contacts and will send letter to those sharing a classroom with anyone who tests positive moving forward, Shield said.
Spokane Public Schools
According to Spokane Public Schools Spokesperson Sandra Jarrad, there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus at Lidgerwood Elementary School.
Jarrad said she could not say if those people are a parent or staff member due to privacy concerns. She said the school still plans on opening for kindergarten on Wednesday.
The district is working to create a COVID-19 dashboard for its website. They hope it will be available by Monday afternoon.
Jarrad said the district is going over numbers and they could find more cases but these are the only cases they can identify at the moment.
Central Valley School District
According to the Central Valley School District's COVID-19 dashboard, there are eight confirmed cases of coronavirus at various schools throughout the district.
The dashboard is reporting the following for schools over the past 14 days:
- Ponderosa Elementary: 2 cases and 2 close contacts
- South Pines Elementary : 2 cases and 4 close contacts
- Sunrise Elementary: 1 close contact
- North Pines Middle School: 2 close contacts
- Selkirk Middle School: 2 cases and 8 close contacts
- Central Valley Virtual Learning Center: 1 case
Deer Park School District
Superintendent Travis Hanson confirmed on Tuesday, Sept. 22 that a total of three staff or students within Deer Park School District have tested positive for COVID-19 since the school year began. The individuals are in quarantine, according to Hanson.
Two of the cases have been confirmed at Deer Park Middle School, with one at Deer Park Elementary School.
One of the COVID-19 cases at Deer Park MS was reported in a seventh-grade student. Hanson said the student contracted the virus outside of the school system.
District leadership believes social distancing and masking protocols have been effective in preventing community spread, Hanson said.
The district has sent letters to notify parents and families will be contacted directly if their child was a close contact of a person who contracted coronavirus.
Bonners Ferry High School
Four students at Bonners Ferry High School have tested positive for coronavirus, according to an update from Boundary County School District on Friday, Sept. 18.
The individuals involved have been asked to stay home and self-isolate, according to BCSD. More than 60 students are in quarantine right now, Superintendent Jan Bayer said.
BCSD is working closely with Panhandle Health District and in the process of conducting contact tracing for individuals who had close contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a previous update from the district, one student tested positive on Monday and wasn't in contact with staff or students for four days. The first student tested positive on Sunday and had not had contact with students or staff for two days.
Lakeland Junior High School
In a letter sent to families and staff on Wednesday, Sept. 16, Lakeland Junior High School announced that a student and/or staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.
Those identified as close contacts will be contacted by the school nurse or Panhandle Health District, according to the letter.
The person who tested positive will not be able to return to school until after their contagious period has passed in line with guidance from Panhandle Health District and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
KREM has reached out to a nurse with the Lakeland Joint School District for more information.
Skyway Elementary School in Coeur d'Alene
One person has tested positive at Skyway Elementary School, leading to 24 people being asked to quarantine.
Coeur d'Alene Public Schools said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, Sept. 16 that the individual had close contact with 13 students and 11 members of the staff who were asked to quarantine. The district didn't clarify if the positive test was a student or staff member.
School administration is working with the Panhandle Health District to address the case and the district sent an email to inform families of the positive test.
The school will be open on Thursday due to all close contacts being quarantined and the building being cleaned, according to the district.
KREM staff members contributed to this report.