Nearly 900 Kennewick students & staff missed school for COVID-19 last week

KENNEWICK, Wash. — After a summer in the sunshine, Tri-Cities students are back in school for in-person learning. However, many are being forced to stay home due to the spread of COVID-19 in local schools.

According to Friday afternoon’s update on the Kennewick School District’s COVID-19 Report Card, 115 students and 10 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 last week (Sept. 11 to 17). That led to 893 absences across a majority of the KSD’s schools.

No school suffered more absences due to COVID-19 symptoms, positivity, or close contacts than Cascade Elementary (84). It’s shortly followed by Kamiakin High School (82), then by Horse Heavens Middle School (67), and Amistad Elementary (63).

RELATED: Tri-Cities health district reports 34 COVID-19 deaths

No single location has had more than 2 staff members test positive for the virus thus far, but 11 schools have had at least five students test positive for COVID-19 since the school year began in early September.

As of Monday morning, there have been a total of 312 positive COVID-19 test results returned for Kennewick students since September 1. On top of that sum, 10 staff members have contracted the coronavirus. Each of those positive test results amongst Kennewick school staff were reported last week.

According to data from the Washington DOH, Benton County has the third-highest 7-day case rate of the state’s 39 counties over the last seven days. Additionally, Franklin County has the state’s second-highest 7-day case rate. This makes the Tri-Cities community especially susceptible to COVID-19 exposure and transmission, which is translating to Kennewick Schools.

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