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.