COVID-19 transmission remains low among Spokane-area schools

SPOKANE, Wash. — Efforts to protect Spokane students and teachers from COVID-19 appear to be working. 

According to contact tracers, only five people have become infected inside Spokane Public School buildings since younger students were brought back in early October. 

Keep in mind, that’s five cases among 3,500 plus students, hundreds of teachers, and 54 buildings. 

Other districts are seeing success as well. 

“What these numbers continue to reflect is that transmission is extremely rare inside our school buildings,” said Superintendent Adam Swinyard. 

Swinyard says public health officials are taking notice. 

“Our steadfast commitment has been to follow the guidance and direction of our public health officials,” said Swinyard. 

Kindergarten, first and second graders have all been brought back for in-person learning. The district has not talked about phasing in other grades just yet, but the data suggests that could be done safely. 

The Central Valley School District has reported only three cases spreading inside school buildings among Kindergarten through third grade students and teachers. 

The numbers are even more promising in Mead. The district resumed in-person learning for all grades, K-12, in the fall; the largest district to do so. 

As of Wednesday, zero cases have originated inside schools, according to contact tracing data. 

All of these districts have taken strict safety measures. Students are wearing masks and not mixing with kids in other classrooms. In Spokane, school nurses are working seven days a week doing contact tracing and figuring out who needs to isolate. 

To date, 748 Spokane Public Schools students and teachers have been quarantined and 207 remain isolated. 

“Many of those quarantined scenarios, the individual has had exposure in their personal life,” said Swinyard. 

Those safety measures will likely continue well into 2021, if other grades are phased in.

READ: Spokane Public Schools sees low COVID transmission rates, prepares to welcome more students back