COVID cases in Seattle schools skyrocket, as cancellations, remote learning shifts mount
COVID-19 cases continue to mount among staff and students in Seattle schools, with some opting to move back to remote learning less than two weeks into the winter term.
Seattle Public Schools conducted preliminary COVID-19 testing before classes resumed in January, identifying 588 positive cases out of just over 14,000 students and staff members. Over the first week of classes between Jan. 1-7, over 800 additional cases were identified, nearly eight times the previous record for cases in a single week dating back to August of 2021.
Out of 803 positive COVID-19 tests, 643 were students, while the remaining 145 were staff members. That has led to staffing shortages, canceled classes, and in some cases, a temporary move back to remote learning.
Franklin High School — which had the most cases of any school over that one-week period — canceled classes on Monday and Tuesday of this week after totaling 89 positive tests last week. The high school later announced that it would be going remote for the remainder of the week, and returning to in-person instruction the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
Kimball Elementary canceled all classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week, but has yet to announce plans to shift to remote learning, stating only that the school will “assess each day moving forward.”
Lowell Elementary did not suffer any early week cancellations, but will be going remote through Jan. 20, citing a “very high and rising absentee rate” among students and staff.
The COVID dashboard for Seattle schools will be updated next Monday, with more cases expected to be added at that time. As of publishing, other schools with case numbers near Franklin High School’s totals include Roosevelt High School, Ballard High School, and Nathan Hale High School, among others.