Confirmed COVID cases in Spokane Public Schools increase tenfold from last week, breaking district record

<p><p>Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Spokane County’s largest school district hit a record Friday, growing tenfold from last week as other districts also report their highest infection levels.</p></p><p><p>Spokane Public Schools on Friday reported 539 positive tests on its weekly COVID dashboard, skyrocketing from last week’s 58 confirmed cases. The district’s previous confirmed case record, set in September, was 138. Another 1,158 people are in quarantine, the district reported Friday, up from 421 last week and another record for the district.</p></p><p><p>The numbers reflect students and staff who had confirmed COVID cases and entered a school building from Monday through Thursday, according to its public dashboard posted Friday evening.</p></p><p><p>Twenty-nine percent of SPS students were absent on Friday, Superintendent Adam Swinyard told The Spokesman-Review.</p></p><p><p>Swinyard added that 380 certificated staff were out Friday, although some of those reflect vacations and other reasons.</p></p><p><p>The spike comes one day after the district announced that it would close schools on Tuesday. It’s hoped that the four-day weekend will help students and staff recover.</p></p><p><p>Other districts continue to see record COVID numbers.</p></p><p><p>Friday’s dashboard at Central Valley showed 740 positive cases in the past 10 days among students and staff. Last week, the district reported 204 cases. University and Ridgeline high schools led the way this week with 107 and 102, respectively.</p></p><p><p>In the Mead School District, 643 students and staff have tested positive in the past 10 days, according to Friday’s dashboard. Last week, Mead reported 235 infections from the previous 10 days.</p></p><p><p>Of the 643 illnesses confirmed this week, 156 occurred at Mead High School and another 102 at Mt. Spokane High School.</p></p><p><p>West Valley School District has its highest COVID rate , with 286 confirmed cases in the past 14 days. Eighty-six are at West Valley High School.</p></p><p><p>The Cheney School District also reported an all-time high, with 186 confirmed cases since Jan. 3. Cheney High School accounted for 77 of those cases.</p></p><p><p>Medical Lake has 75 positive cases in the past 14 days and Deer Park has 43, according to their dashboards.</p></p><p><p>Liberty School District reported 34 cases.</p></p><p><p>Metrics also are higher in North Idaho. Coeur d’Alene Schools reported 220 new cases this week, while Post Falls has 41. Kootenai County’s third-largest district, Lakeland, does not post a dashboard.</p></p><p><p>No districts in Spokane or Kootenai counties have been forced into a remote learning model, but the Warden School District in Grant County did so beginning on Friday.</p></p><p><p>Virtual learning will continue until Jan. 24, the district said.</p></p><p><p>“The Warden School District continues to experience a surge in COVID-19 cases amongst students and staff and we are no longer able to safely provide instruction in person,” the district statement reads. </p></p>