Of the 84 schools that had COVID-19 outbreaks across the state, 69% were public schools and the remaining were private schools, according to a new report. Courtesy photo

State releases data on COVID outbreaks in schools

A new statewide report outlines how COVID-19 outbreaks have moved through Washington schools.

The report, released on Feb. 11, lists outbreaks in King County and across the state in K-12 schools. A total of 84 COVID-19 outbreaks occurred in these schools between Aug. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. In these outbreaks, there were 305 cases of the virus, and 64% of outbreaks involved two or three cases. Half of the cases were in students under 18.

The Washington State Department of Health defines a COVID-19 outbreak as two or more positive cases among students or staff with symptoms coming on within a 14-day period of each other. The cases must also be linked, and those who fall ill must not share a household or be in close contact with each other in settings outside of school.

The greatest concentration of outbreaks occurred between the weeks of Oct. 25 and Nov. 15.

Spokane County had by far the highest number of both outbreaks as well as cases. The county had 33 outbreaks, which infected 151 people. The next highest was Snohomish County, which had 12 outbreaks and 53 people test positive related to them.

King County had seven outbreaks and a total of 20 cases.

Of the 84 schools that had COVID-19 outbreaks across the state, 69% were public schools and the remaining were private schools. The report states that of the schools that had outbreaks, five were fully remote, 10 were fully in-person, 19 were using a hybrid model and 10 were primarily remote with some exceptions for students. The remaining 40 outbreaks either reported another learning style or data wasn’t available.

Of all those who tested positive for the virus, half were students under the age of 18, and 61% of all those who tested positive were female.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

In this file photo, Tayshon Cottrell dons his graduation cap and gown, along with a face mask reading: “Wear it! Save America” at Todd Beamer High School’s virtual graduation walk recording on May 20, 2020, in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

File photo
Study shows Washingtonians exceeded ‘heavy drinking’ threshold in 2020

The survey suggests Washingtonians drank more than 17 alcoholic beverages a week on average.

Mercer Island School District first-graders returned to in-person classes on Jan. 19, 2021. Here, Northwood Elementary School students head into the building. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island School District
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Malden, after a wildfire burned down 80% of the town’s buildings in Eastern Washington. Courtesy photo
DNR commissioner seeks $125 million to fight wildfires

In Washington state last September, some 600,000 acres burned within 72 hours.

Washington State Supreme Court Justices (back row, L-R) Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary I. Yu, G. Helen Whitener, (front row, L-R) Susan Owens, Charles W. Johnson, Steven C. Gonzalez, Barbara A. Madsen and Debra L. Stephens.
Justices strike down Washington state drug possession law

Police must stop arresting people for simple possession.

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo
King County libraries will reopen in some cities for in-person services

Fall City, Kent libraries among six selected for partial reopening.

In a zipper merge, cars continue in their lanes and then take turns at the point where the lanes meet. (Koenb via Wikimedia Commons)
Do Washington drivers need to learn the zipper merge?

Legislators propose requiring zipper merge instruction in drivers education and in license test.

Most Read