K-12 coronavirus case numbers dip ahead of holiday break

As Idaho’s K-12 schools closed for holiday break, school coronavirus cases continued to slow.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported at least 187 new cases in schools for the seven-day period that ended Sunday.

That represents a 41 percent dropoff from the previous week.

This week’s school hotspots:

  • Coeur d’Alene High School: Nine cases for the week, 66 for the school year.
  • Hillcrest High School, Ammon: Eight new cases, at least 64 for the year.
  • Bonneville High School, Idaho Falls: Eight new cases, at least 62 for the year.
  • Nezperce School: Eight new cases, 12 for the year.

At least 3,315 K-12 students and staffers have contracted coronavirus this school year, according to Health and Welfare data. The agency began releasing weekly breakdowns in early October.

The numbers are incomplete, however. Citing privacy concerns, Health and Welfare does not release any data for schools with fewer than 50 students. In some cases, the state releases only minimum case numbers for schools.

Here are thumbnails from Idaho’s two largest school districts:

West Ada. Case numbers have dropped significantly in the final weeks before the holiday break. West Ada is reporting 81 cases for the two-week period ending Sunday, compared to 231 cases for the two previous weeks. Infection rates are also well below the countywide rate. West Ada schools remained open until the break, for at least part-time face-to-face instruction.

Boise. With students still attending school online, the district reported 13 new cases since Tuesday, compared to 29 confirmed or probable cases in the two preceding weeks.

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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