CoronaVirus CopySpace

Bonneville Joint School District 93 had recorded 29 new cases of the coronavirus this week as of the district’s Wednesday night board meeting — nine cases from students and 20 from staff members.

The peak of known COVID infections in the district came Oct. 9, when District 93 was monitoring around 50 active cases among students and staff. That was the first day that more than 200 students were in quarantine because of possible close contact with a positive case of the virus.

“Cases are growing, not going down. So how do you make the argument that we’re being overprotective or over-whatever based on those results?” trustee Greg Calder said.

Idaho Falls School District 91 has added 11 cases of the virus among students and nine cases from staff members as of Friday afternoon. The district has averaged about 20 new cases per week for the last month, though last week marks the highest rate of new cases from district staff.

Last week was the first since the district moved three high schools into a hybrid learning model to reduce the virus’s impact. By having students attend school every other day, District 91 hopes to provide more distancing and reduce the number of cases and quarantines. The case tracker on the district website does not include the number of cases at each school, making it difficult to say how much the change has affected the number of cases.

The switch to a hybrid model does seem to have reduced the number of students in quarantine. District 91 regularly had hundreds of students in quarantine early in the school year because of potential close contact with someone who had tested positive. On Friday, the district’s online case tracker showed that 31 students were isolating.

College of Eastern Idaho reported eight new cases of the virus this week. Six of the new cases came from students at the college, while two came from employees.

A weekly update posted to the school’s website said that potential exposures may have happened in a conference room at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center on Oct. 9 and at the college’s Yellowstone Training Center on Oct. 12. Potential exposures were also listed for four of the six buildings on the college campus since Oct. 5.

Brennen is the main education reporter for the Post Register. Contact him with news tips at 208-542-6711.