COVID outbreak temporarily closes two Pacific Northwest schools

Sep 17, 2021, 2:46 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2021, 6:43 am
COVID schools...
Parents watch their kids line up with their class (Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
(Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

A COVID outbreak of four cases resulting in quarantine measures affecting hundreds has closed a high school just outside of Portland, Oregon.

Reynolds High School closed on Sept. 16, and will proceed with remote learning until Sept. 27.

“Community spread of the COVID-19 virus continues and while the number of students or staff who have tested positive are small, these cases have required large numbers of students to quarantine due to possible exposure in the last few days,” reads an update from the Reynolds School District.

The transition to remote learning will affect the school’s 2,680 students.

The halt on in-person learning is not limited to the one Oregon school: John Wetten Elementary in Gladstone is also pausing in-person instruction, according to Portland’s CBS-affiliated KOIN.

The outlook of COVID cases in Washington state’s schools is mixed.

Seattle Public Schools is reporting 117 cumulative cases through Sept. 10. That represents a rise in total cases, as only 51 were reported through Sept. 3.

Seattle Public Schools creates COVID dashboard to track cases among students, staff

The rise in cases trends with transmission throughout the county. The rolling seven-day average of positive cases in King County was 581 on Sept. 3, and 613 on Sept. 13, per the Department of Public Health.

Lake Washington School District is reporting 19 student and six staff COVID cases in the last 14 days. That data is current though Sept. 10.

Bellevue School District reports 35 confirmed cases among students and staff as of Sept. 17.

Northshore School District reports 83 cases among students and staff, and 333 are quarantined as of Sept. 17, whereas only 216 were in quarantine a week ago.

All COVID cases are reported, by law, to local health jurisdictions. An outbreak is defined according to several criteria: two positive cases need to be identified among students and staff; symptoms need to arise within 14 days of exposure; and the cases need to be epidemiologically linked between separate households.

At least one Washington school has closed due to a COVID outbreak. According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Garfield-Palouse High School will move to remote learning through Oct. 4.

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COVID outbreak temporarily closes two Pacific Northwest schools