Schools In Twin Falls Will Most Likely Open Fully In-Person Next Week
Schools in Twin Falls will open to students on August 19, the school board decided Monday evening, barring a significant change to the COVID-19 picture locally.
On Monday morning, South Central Public Health told Twin Falls School District Superintendent Brady Dickinson that the county is in the "Yellow" or "Moderate" risk category, according to the health district's risk matrix.
"That’s based on several different factors — one being that our hospital is currently in very good shape," Dickinson said.
The school board voted last night to open schools based on the health district’s "Yellow" classification. That means unless something changes in the next few days, bringing the county to a different alert level, students will be back in classrooms as early as next week. Masks will be required for students and staff.
However, the seven-day-average for COVID-19 cases in Twin Falls, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, is 2.83 per 10,000 people, above the threshold to put the county in the health district's "Orange" or "High" risk category. An "Orange" start to the school year could've meant a hybrid of in-person and online classes.
There are other factors included in the health district's matrix, beside daily case numbers, including local hospital capacity, the percent positivity of tests and whether there are cases in congregate living facilities.
The South Central Public Health District was not able to return a request for comment Monday evening regarding its assessment of Twin Falls being in the "Yellow" risk level.
Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen
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