In a Wednesday meeting, the Middleton School District Board of Trustees talked about how one staff member of the Middleton School District has died of COVID-19.
“We’ve had one employee that’s passed from COVID,” Superintendent Kristin Beck said.
Further information about the person was not discussed, and the district declined to give specifics, citing privacy of staff and students.
“It’s a very sad situation for the Middleton School District and my heart breaks for the employee’s family, friends and co-workers,” Beck said in a news release from the district. “The dangers of COVID hit close to home, and this death underscores the need to take the necessary steps to keep our staff and students safe.”
The school district reported having some students and employees quarantining from Middleton High School. There is one elementary teacher out on quarantine who is not expected to return soon because she is not well. Beck said the district is working with Southwest District Health to determine “appropriate quarantine measures with each and every case.”
“We know the risk for our students is quite small, but the risk for our staff is greater,” said Board Chair Kirk Adams, according to Idaho Education News. “Twenty-five percent of our staff has compromised health. We’ve already lost a staff member.”
Beck answered questions in the meeting about the tracking of the coronavirus in schools.
When discussing public records requests, she said they’ve “been really intentional with our tracking or lack thereof.”
“We intentionally don’t keep records that would apply to numbers that specific to a building,” she said. “We very much deal with each case individually and look at the circumstances. They’re not all dealt with the same way.”
Idaho Education News reported that Trustee Derek Moore suggested moving kindergarten through fifth-graders to a morning and afternoon schedule, so students could go to school every day, but in smaller groups. The current plan has students in classrooms two days and two days of remote learning at home.
“We can’t run and hide,” Moore said. “I know we have cases, but we cannot decide not to move forward. There are going to be hiccups in the road.”
Board members will continue discussion at the regular meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 12.
BORAH SOCCER TEAM QUARANTINED
The Borah High School boys soccer team canceled two games this week as it enters a coronavirus quarantine, Boise School District spokesperson Dan Hollar confirmed.
Borah High reported two new positive coronavirus cases Tuesday, including one for a student. That led the Lions to cancel Tuesday’s game at Boise and Wednesday’s game at Timberline.
Hollar said Wednesday the Boise School District is working with Central District Health and couldn’t give a timeline on when the quarantine is expected to end.
Borah was unable to play two games last week due to poor air quality before playing its first and only game so far on Saturday, a 6-1 win over Capital.
BOISE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB SITE CLOSED
A staff member at the Hawthorne Elementary site for the Boys & Girls Club of Ada County tested positive for the coronavirus, the Boise School District reported Tuesday.
The positive test led the Boys & Girls Club to close the Hawthorne facility until Oct. 1. All children who attended programs at the site Sept. 16 and 17 are also asked to quarantine until Oct. 1.
The Boise School District’s letter to parents noted students from Hawthorne, Grace Jordan, Hillcrest, Horizon, Liberty, Monroe and Whitney elementary schools attend the Boys & Girls Club program at Hawthorne.
The Boys & Girls Club added the staff member wore a face mask at all times while working Sept. 16 and 17.
EMMETT SCHOOLS ADD ANOTHER COVID CASE
Emmett High School reported its third COVID-19 case of the school year Wednesday. A student tested positive for the coronavirus. The student was last at school Monday.
The Emmett School District noted it is working with Southwest District Health to notify and contact anyone who came into close contact with the student.
CALDWELL SCHOOLS DETAIL CORONAVIRUS CASES
The Caldwell School District has recorded 10 positive coronavirus cases so far this school year, it said in response to a public records request from the Idaho Statesman.
The 10 cases include four staff members and six students since Aug. 24. The district saw one staff member and three students test positive the week of Sept. 14, the most recent week available.
Caldwell Superintendent Shalene French wrote in an email the district is not tracking cases by individual school.
Caldwell has held all classes online so far. Elementary students will return to in-person classes four days a week either in the morning or afternoon starting Monday. Middle and high school students will return to classes two days a week starting Monday.
WEDNESDAY COVID UPDATE
The state’s seven public health districts reported a combined 252 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths on Wednesday.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare also added a record 138 new probable cases for a statewide total of 390 confirmed and probable cases. That increases the 7-day average to 346, which marks the eighth straight day with an increase.
The latest deaths were in Minidoka (8 total) and Washington (6 total) counties. Idaho has lost 454 residents to the virus with a case fatality rate of about 1.17%. No further information on the deaths was provided.
Eastern Idaho Public Health had the most cases of any of the health districts on Wednesday with 93. Bonneville County announced 37 new cases (2,092 total), and Madison County was close behind with 32 new cases (469 total).
Three other counties added 20 or more cases — Ada (31 new, 11,454 total), Kootenai (24 new, 2,516 total) and Canyon (23 new, 7,513 total).
The other counties reporting additional confirmed cases of the coronavirus were Bannock (5 new, 918 total), Benewah (2 new, 139 total), Bingham (9 new, 848 total), Blaine (1 new, 613 total), Bonner (6 new, 289 total), Camas (3 new, 20 total), Caribou (2 new, 91 total), Cassia (2 new, 589 total), Clearwater (1 new, 37 total), Elmore (1 new, 261 total), Franklin (3 new, 99 total), Fremont (4 new, 156 total), Gem (1 new, 264 total), Gooding (4 new, 229 total), Idaho (2 new, 183 total), Jefferson (10 new, 426 total), Jerome (3 new, 644 total), Latah (8 new, 331 total), Lemhi (3 new, 64 total), Lincoln (1 new, 69 total), Minidoka (2 new, 594 total), Nez Perce (7 new, 390 total), Oneida (1 new, 21 total), Payette (4 new, 743 total), Power (1 new, 220 total), Shoshone (1 new, 213 total), Teton (7 new, 137 total), Twin Falls (8 new, 1,882 total), Valley (1 new, 82 total) and Washington (2 new, 322 total).
Since the start of the pandemic, 35,499 Idahoans have tested positive for the coronavirus. IDHW estimates that of those infected, 20,901 people are presumed recovered.
Overall hospitalizations: Health and Welfare reports that there have been 1,754 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19, 448 admissions to the ICU and 2,641 health care workers infected. Hospital and health care numbers are based on cases with completed investigations into contacts, not the full number of positives.
St. Luke’s Health System: As of Sept. 22, the health system was reporting 29 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 468 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 6%.
Saint Alphonsus Health System: As of Sept. 22, the health system was reporting 23 patients in its hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 out of 370 patients overall. The health system reported a 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate of 8.3%.
Boise School District: The district says the following schools or units have reported confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since Sept. 22: Borah High School (2 cases) and Hawthorne Elementary (1).
Testing totals: At the end of the day Wednesday, Health and Welfare reported that 294,063 people had been tested statewide. About 12.1% of those have been positive for COVID-19.
Counties with community spread: All counties except Adams, Butte and Franklin have been announced to have community spread.
Counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases: Ada 11,454, Adams 27, Bannock 918, Bear Lake 46, Benewah 139, Bingham 848, Blaine 613, Boise 52, Bonner 289, Bonneville 2,092, Boundary 47, Butte 27, Camas 20, Canyon 7,513, Caribou 91, Cassia 589, Clark 27, Clearwater 37, Custer 48, Elmore 261, Franklin 99, Fremont 156, Gem 264, Gooding 229, Idaho 183, Jefferson 426, Jerome 644, Kootenai 2,516, Latah 331, Lemhi 64, Lewis 13, Lincoln 69, Madison 469, Minidoka 594, Nez Perce 390, Oneida 21, Owyhee 294, Payette 743, Power 220, Shoshone 213, Teton 137, Twin Falls 1,882, Valley 82, Washington 322.