Amid reopening controversy, West Ada goes public with coronavirus numbers

The West Ada School District has reported 59 coronavirus cases in the past two weeks, more than half at the high school level.

The numbers come from a newly launched district dashboard. And the data release comes as the state’s largest school district and its teachers union are at odds over a face-to-face learning plan. Late Friday afternoon, West Ada canceled Monday classes, after more than 650 teachers called in sick in protest of the district’s reopening strategy. District leaders also canceled Tuesday classes after 440 teachers called in sick.

The coronavirus rates vary significantly, based on grade levels:

  • West Ada reported 32 cases in its high schools over the past two weeks, 28 cases involving students. This translates to an infection rate of 16.4 people per a population of 100,000.
  • West Ada’s middle schools reported 13 cases over the past two weeks, seven involving students and six involving teachers and staff. The infection rate is 9.1 people per 100,000.
  • The district’s grade schools reported 14 cases over the past two weeks, six involving students and eight involving staff. The infection rate is 5.6 people per 100,000.

At all grade levels, the infection rate falls below the countywide rate of 22.5 people per 100,000, as calculated by the Central District Health department. Based on infection rates topping 20 people per 100,000, CDH placed Ada County schools in the highest category for coronavirus risk, the “red” designation. However, CDH recommended that schools could stay open for a blend of face-to-face and online learning. West Ada trustees have approved a hybrid learning plan at all grade levels.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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