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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

CDH Moves Ada County Schools To 'Moderate' Category, Endorsing Reopening

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Central District Health Tuesday improved the risk classification for multiple school districts in its area, moving the Boise, West Ada and Kuna school districts from the red, high risk category 3 to the yellow, moderate risk category 2.

The health district also moved districts in Elmore and Boise counties to the moderate category, and schools in Valley County from the yellow to green, low risk category.

These classification changes mean the many school districts which have linked pandemic education plans to health department classifications can resume in-person learning.

In Ada County, Kuna had already resumed part-time in-person learning with a hybrid class schedule August 31, but Boise and West Ada districts began the year with online instruction. Now that the health department has reclassified the districts into moderate risk, each has a unique plan to resume classes.

Boise will return students to a hybrid model in phases, beginning with the youngest students no sooner than September 21. Grade levels return in groups every two weeks and the district hopes to resume full-time in-person instruction by November 9. The district is taking feedback from parents on the plan and will make a final decision Thursday, September 10.

Athletics in the Boise district resumes in full immediately, as the classification change means teams can hold full practices and will be able to play games. While in the red category, team gatherings were limited to 10 people and games were prohibited.

West Ada plans to move faster, bringing preschool and kindergarten students back full-time starting Monday, and implementing a hybrid model for other grade levels the same day.

In Valley County, the change to the low-risk classification means schools there can resume full-time in-person learning immediately.

Central District Health changed the way it used COVID-19 data to classify schools September 4. The agency is now using a 14-day average of new cases in each county, adjusted per 100,000 of population.

The classification change allowing schools to reopen also means bars in Ada County may reopen, provided establishments get safety plans approved by Central District Health. The health board linked the timing of bars and schools reopening at its September 3 meeting.

Follow Troy Oppie on Twitter @GoodBadOppie for more local news.

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