K-12 coronavirus case numbers surge after Thanksgiving break

Idaho K-12 students returned to school last week ­— and with that, coronavirus case numbers nearly returned to their pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The Department of Health and Welfare on Monday reported at least 419 new cases in the K-12 system. The weekly report runs through Sunday.

The weekly total isn’t a record — that occurred two weeks ago, just before the holiday break. But the 419 cases represent a 172 percent increase from the Thanksgiving week numbers.

Eight of the state’s 10 largest outbreaks were tied to the West Ada School District, where 38,000 students returned last week for a mix of face-to-face and online learning.

This week’s hotspots:

  • Rocky Mountain High School, Meridian: 22 cases for the week, 54 cases for the year.
  • Meridian High School: 20 cases for the week, 64 for the year.
  • Mountain View High School, Meridian: 19 cases for the week, 71 for the year.
  • Lake City High School, Coeur d’Alene: 18 cases for the week, 81 for the year.
  • Kuna and Swan Falls high schools: 12 cases for the week, 51 for the year.
  • Centennial High School, Boise: 12 cases for the week, 35 for the year.
  • Eagle High School: 10 cases for the week, at least 59 for the year.
  • Renaissance High School, Meridian: 10 cases for the week, 26 for the year.
  • Heritage Middle School, Meridian: 10 cases for the week, 20 for the year.
  • Lewis and Clark Middle School, Meridian: 10 cases for the week, 20 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.

Details from Idaho’s two largest school districts:

West Ada School District: The state’s largest district has reported 231 cases for the two-week period ending Sunday, a rolling average of 16.5 cases per day. A week ago, that daily rolling average stood at 10.3. Case numbers are highest in the high schools and middle schools — in both cases, exceeding the infection rates for Ada County as a whole.

In all, 744 West Ada high school students are self-isolating.

Boise School District: With all 25,000 of its students in online class until January, Boise has tallied 18 confirmed or probable cases since Tuesday, or 2.6 cases per day. Boise reported 106 cases from Nov. 17 to 30, a daily average of 7.6.


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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