COVID-19 rates leveling off in most Spokane-area school districts

<p><p>It may be too early to say that the worst is over for local school districts in their struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic.</p></p><p><p>However, numbers were down slightly overall this week in Spokane and Kootenai counties, to 806 positive cases as of Friday. That’s down from 941 last week.</p></p><p><p>The largest district, Spokane Public Schools, also has the most people in quarantine with 514, a decrease from 624 a week ago.</p></p><p><p>The Central Valley School District continues to see high numbers, with 168 positive cases in the last 14 days – though that, too, is down from last week’s total of 172. Mead currently has 112 positive cases.</p></p><p><p>Numbers are difficult to compare, and almost certainly higher, as Spokane posts a one-week snapshot, while Central Valley measures positive cases during the past 14 days and Mead goes back just 10 days.</p></p><p><p>Some districts have opted not to post COVID numbers.</p></p><p><p>Coeur d’Alene uses yet another method, posting weekly and cumulative totals. As of Friday, the hard-hit district had 134 active cases; that’s a sharp drop from last week’s 227.</p></p><p><p>Also, the number of students and staff forced out of buildings by positive tests or close contact with infected individuals fell from 450 to 394.</p></p><p><p>More good news: No districts announced any shifts to remote learning, as St. Maries and Garfield-Palouse did last week.</p></p><p><p>The news wasn’t all good, though. The Cheney School District hit a record 78 positive cases in the last 14 days, while Riverside had 36.</p></p><p><p>In Spokane, the hardest-hit schools were Bemiss, Stevens and Wilson elementaries, each with at least 30 people quarantined.</p></p><p><p>In Central Valley, the district’s three high schools had a combined 55 positive cases in the last 14 days.</p></p><p><p>The biggest hotspot was Ponderosa Elementary School, with 23 positive cases, two of which were the result of in-school contact.</p></p>