Health and Welfare: K-12 coronavirus cases fell during holiday week


With Idaho schools closed for at least part of Thanksgiving week, K-12 coronavirus case numbers fell sharply.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Monday reported at least 154 new coronavirus cases in the schools, a 69 percent dropoff from the previous week’s case peak.

The week’s hotspots were all in Eastern Idaho:

  • Bonneville High School, Idaho Falls: 11 cases for the week, at least 49 cases for the year.
  • Thunder Ridge High School, Idaho Falls: 10 cases for the week, at least 61 for the year.
  • Hillcrest High School, Ammon: nine cases for the week, at least 49 for the year.
  • Highland High School, Pocatello: eight cases for the week, at least 27 for the year.

The weekly K-12 case counts are preliminary and incomplete. The state does not release student and staff case numbers for schools with fewer than 50 students, citing privacy concerns. The state also releases only minimum case numbers for some schools.

The state’s two largest school districts were closed all of last week — and case numbers tailed off during the break.

The Boise School District has reported 78 confirmed cases and 10 probable cases since Nov. 17 — less than half the 230 cases counted from Nov. 3 to 16. Classes resumed Monday, but the district’s 25,000 students will attend class online through at least mid-January.

The West Ada School District has reported 144 cases since Nov. 16, 99 cases involving students and 45 cases involving staff.  Nearly half of the cases are in West Ada high schools, such as Eagle, Meridian, Rocky Mountain and Mountain View. Across the state’s largest district, daily numbers translate to about 25 cases per 100,000 residents, compared to 55 cases per 100,000 residents in Ada County overall.

West Ada’s 38,000 students returned to classes Monday. Kindergarten through fifth-grade students are in school full-time, while sixth- through 12th-graders follow a hybrid schedule of face-to-face and online learning.







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]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday