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Will K-12 Spring Breaks Lead To Covid Spike? Probably Not

Screenshot from WA State Hospital Association briefing

Most Inland Northwest school districts are off for spring break either this week or next.

We’ve heard the news about how Covid has spread in areas where students are congregating while on break, especially in Florida. Or in Pullman, where Whitman County health authorities reported 73 new cases last weekend and 185 during the last 14 days.

But health experts, such as Dr. Dan Getz, aren’t as worried about a Covid spike with K-12 students out of class. Getz is the chief medical officer at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

“When we look at influenza every year we see a little dip, or decrease, in influenza when kids go on spring break because they’re not in school next to each other. I don’t have quite so many concerns about kids coming home on spring break. I think the behaviors that concern me are the college students that are going on vacation en masse to these destinations. They’re packed into a pool like sardines and then they bring it back to their community. That concerns me a little bit more," he said Monday during a Washington State Hospital Association media briefing.

Getz says one reason for the recent plateau in rates statewide is that more testing and vaccinations are being done and they’re more readily available. He says he’s cautiously optimistic about the pandemic’s trajectory, but says it’s not yet time to declare victory.