COVID-19 retreating stubbornly in Spokane-area classrooms

<p><p>The COVID-19 pandemic is retreating, though rather slowly, at local schools.</p></p><p><p>Data posted Friday and earlier this week show slightly lower numbers at almost every district, including an almost 35% drop in current cases at Spokane Public Schools.</p></p><p><p>Among other large districts, Central Valley, Coeur d’Alene, Mead and Cheney also showed drops in most metrics.</p></p><p><p>Here’s a breakdown of schools’ latest caseloads:</p></p><p><p><strong>Spokane</strong> had 110 positive cases in the one-week snapshot posted on Oct. 1; a week later, that number was down to 73.</p></p><p><p>However, the district saw a rise in the number of people quarantined as a result of close contact, from 514 to 607. Numbers were generally evenly spread; however, Garfield Elementary School in north Spokane now has 98 people in quarantine – or almost 25% of the students and staff.</p></p><p><p>The school also reported 66 students and staff exposed to a confirmed case inside the building.</p></p><p><p>Overall, the most encouraging news came out of <strong>Coeur d’Alene</strong>, where conflict over masks may have contributed to the resignation of two board members.</p></p><p><p>On Friday, the district reported 82 current positive cases and 253 students and staff “out of buildings” due to infection or close contact. A week ago, those numbers stood at 134 and 394, respectively.</p></p><p><p>The worst also appears to be over at the Riverside School District in <strong>Chattaroy</strong>, with positive cases dropping from 36 last week to 25 on Friday.</p></p><p><p><strong>Central Valley</strong> reported 151 positive cases in the previous 14 days, down from 168 last week. <strong>Mead</strong> had a similar decline, from 112 to 103.</p></p><p><p><strong>Cheney</strong>, which experienced a sharp spike last week to 78 cases, is down to 71. However, numbers are up slightly at <strong>West Valley</strong>, from 22 last week to 31.</p></p>