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Colville Schools Closed While Awaiting Coronavirus Test Results

Colville School District

The Colville [Washington] School District is closed for a few days while officials await results from testing done on someone who may have the coronavirus.

School District Superintendent Pete Lewis says wouldn't release the identity of the person or even confirm whether the person is a student or staff member. He says a coronavirus test has been sent to western Washington for analysis.

“If it was a positive result," Lewis said, the district would immediately confer with Dr. Sam Artzis, who is the health officer for Tri-County Health District, which has jurisdiction over Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties. "Then we would craft our plan from there. If it’s not [a positive result] we are cleaning our building. As you know it’s flu season and we are cleaning our buildings and getting started on that process,” he said.

Lewis said it may take a couple more days to complete the deep cleaning.

Artzis hopes more test kits can be made available locally so there won’t be such a delay in coronavirus test results.

“The goal for us would be to have point of care testing, hopefully at the regional hospitals, but also in clinics as this progresses. But we’ve had no indication from the Department of Health or CDC that those are forthcoming," he said. "We’ve just got testing at the state level in the last couple of days, so that’s going to be a work in progress."

Officials say if you believe you might be showing symptoms of the coronavirus to call the Tri County Health District office in Colville to determine if you should be tested.


Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.