COVID-19 Risk Level (Current):
High but controlled community transmission, including confirmed exposure within communal settings. Potential for rapid increase in suspected cases.
Blended learning is in effect: High School Students attend class in person 2 days a week, with half on Monday-Tuesday, half on Thursday-Friday. Students participate in distance learning the other 3 days a week.
STARTING OCTOBER 26: Grades K-8 attend in-person school Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday. Wednesday is a distance learning day.
Masks required for everyone when on school property and buses.
Coeur d’Alene Public Schools consults with Panhandle Health District and other community partners to monitor and evaluate the latest data and trends for tracking the spread of COVID-19.
PLEASE NOTE: The risk level shown here is determined by the Board of Trustees for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools, and is based on trends in the key metrics the School District is tracking as well as projections by and discussions with our community partners working in public health and health care. Our current risk level is specific to the operations of schools in our District and is distinct from any other gauges of current risk for our community, Kootenai County or North Idaho as a region.
Key Metrics for COVID Risk Level and Instructional Model
To determine our current risk level and corresponding instructional model, Coeur d’Alene Public Schools consults with Panhandle Health District and follows the health district's County Risk Level for Schools and Businesses. That information can be found by going here.
COVID-19 Positive Tests and Quarantine Notifications
COVID-19 Situation Report: 10-29-20
Individuals currently isolated after testing positive: 22
This is the number of individuals (students and adults) who remain in isolation until 10 days after the onset of symptoms, 24 hours of being symptom free without the use of medication, and with improvement in all symptoms.
The table below shows each instance in which the District is informed of a student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19. It includes the date the District learned of the positive test result, the building where the student attends or the employee works, and the number of individuals instructed to quarantine as a result of being in close contact with the person who contracted COVID. (Quarantines shown here are for all new quarantine periods. They do not include existing or extended quarantine periods for individuals already in quarantine.)
I have questions about coronavirus. How can I get them answered?
Panhandle Health has established a hotline for community members to get answers to questions about coronavirus.
Hotline hours: Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. (Hours may expand in the future).
In addition, Kootenai Health has guidelines available on its coronavirus page.
Resources and Policy
FAQ: close contacts and quarantine
Q: What does it mean to be a “close contact” of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
A: For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or longer, starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated. The individual who is a close contact was likely exposed to COVID-19.
Q: What counts as close contact?
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or longer
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
Q: How is the District or anyone employed by the School District qualified to identify close-contacts or otherwise do contact tracing for positive COVID-19 cases?
A: Each of our contact tracing employees has completed a six-hour course and is certified through Johns Hopkins University. This course is an industry standard and was required by Panhandle Health District.
Q: Why does the School District need to identify and notify close-contacts?
A: A close contact to a patient with confirmed or probable COVID-19 should be notified of their exposure as soon as possible (within 24 hours of contact elicitation). Once identified and notified, these individuals can stay home and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Q: How did you determine my student is a close contact of someone who tested positive?
A: Each person who tests positive for COVID-19 is interviewed. Some of the information we ask about includes how the student got to school and who they rode with. We ask if the student rides a bus, who is their girlfriend/boyfriend, what extracurricular activities did they go to. We ask if they have siblings in the Coeur d’Alene School District. We ask if they hugged, kissed, high-fived, or otherwise touched anyone while at school. We ask if they attend School PLUS. Then we review possible locations within buildings or school-related activities the student was at before school. We review the student’s regular daily schedule, including what classroom activities and projects they may have worked on with others. We also ask who they sat with at lunch and what they did after school for extracurricular activities, or how they got home for each of the days on the timeline. Then we take this information and confirm or deny it by checking with teachers, seating assignments, coaches, advisors, school bus drivers and others who may know more about the students locations and activities. Sometimes we check security camera recordings to confirm that we are identifying the correct students.
Q: What time frame are you using to determine a close contact?
A: During the interview we establish a timeline of events that is used to make decisions. We first must determine the date symptoms began. Then we calculate 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms. The positive individual is then asked about all District-related events, activities and attendance during the infectious period.
Q: If the positive individual is asymptomatic (not experiencing symptoms), what time frame are you using to determine a close contact?
A: If the positive individual is asymptomatic, then we use the date of the test sample as day zero (day for onset of symptoms) and calculate back 48 hours prior to the test.
Q: Are you quarantining entire groups or classes of students without identifying exactly who has close contact?
A: No, we do not quarantine entire classes, teams or clubs unless it was determined that each of the individuals had a close contact.
Q: Does the rest of our household need to quarantine?
A: No, you do not need to self-quarantine. But your family should closely monitor yourselves for any symptoms of COVID-19. However, if your student develops symptoms of COVID-19, then the entire household should stay home and consult with a healthcare provider or the health department for further direction.
Q: What about the rest of our household: Do we all need a COVID test?
A: Not necessarily. If you are concerned about your health please call your doctor. If no one in your household has symptoms it may not be necessary to test.
Q: Where can we get a COVID-19 test in our area?
A: For testing in your area, check get-tested-covid19.org. This site is not a complete resource and the developers are adding more sites as they learn of them. Panhandle Health District advises individuals to contact their primary care provider to inquire about testing. If someone does not have insurance or is not established with a primary care provider, call the Panhandle Health Coronavirus Information Hotline (877-415-5225) to be assessed for a test.
Q: What if our student was exposed to COVID and now has symptoms?
A: Please call your healthcare provider. Your student should be evaluated and tested for COVID at least 5 to 8 days after the last exposure.
Q: What if our student was exposed to COVID and now has symptoms but we don’t want them tested?
A: Please call the Panhandle Health Coronavirus Information Hotline (877-415-5225) for directions.
Q: We have a positive individual in our home. When can our student return to school?
A: A household member can begin their quarantine either on the last date of the case’s isolation period, or starting when they are able to remain isolated from the positive individual. In a scenario where the positive household member has separate sleeping and bathroom space and meal delivery to room (essentially no contact with others in the household), the 2 weeks can start from the date they began isolating from each other.
Q: My student participates in extracurricular activities. Can they still participate in after-school activities while on quarantine, just not attend school?
A: No, your student will not be able to attend or participate in any school-related activities during the quarantine period.
Q: It sounds like you’ve known about this COVID case since last week. Five or seven days have passed since the exposure and you are just now notifying us?
A: No, we just became aware in the last few hours that an individual has tested positive. Once we become aware of this, we interview the student/family, teachers and advisors to determine close contacts when the positive individual was last at school and around others. Then we notify all of the close contacts. This notification typically happens before the next school day begins.
Q: Can my child go get a negative test and return to school before the 14-day quarantine period is up?
A: No, we are working with CDC and Panhandle Health District guidelines that require your student to sit out 14 days from the last known exposure. A negative test does not change the timeline.
Q: My student already had COVID-19. If they are identified as a close contact, will they need to quarantine again?
A: If your student has had COVID in the last 3 months, we just need a doctor’s note or a note from the health department to tell us that. Once we receive the note, your student will be able to attend school and does not need to quarantine.
Q: My student was wearing a mask. How could they be identified as a close contact?
A: You are still considered a close contact even if you were wearing a cloth face covering while around someone with COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are meant to prevent someone from transmitting the virus to others, not to protect someone from becoming infected.
Q: What does Idaho say about students and masks?
A: The state has mask guidance for schools at Idaho COVID-19 Mask Guidance for Schools.
Q: We don’t think our student needs to quarantine. How do we appeal this?
A: Your student was identified using a standardized and certified process approved by Panhandle Health District. If you have evidence that your student was not in close contact, please contact Panhandle Health. If Panhandle gives the School District direction to change the quarantine dates, we will make the adjustment.
Q: How fast does the School District work to notify close contacts?
A: We try to notify close contacts to quarantine within 24 hours of the District becoming aware of the situation. Our goal is to notify students and staff before the beginning of the next school day.
Q: Why are we excluding students from school for COVID exposure? What authority does the District have for this?
A: Under Idaho Code 33-512(7) the Board of Trustees has a legal obligation to exclude from school students with contagious or infectious diseases, or those who have been exposed to contagious or infectious diseases. In addition, IDAPA 16.02.10 Department of Health and Welfare Idaho Reportable Diseases restricts school employees and students from attending school with an infectious or reasonably suspected disease, and grants a licensed physician, public health nurse, school nurse or other person designated by the Department or Health District the authority to determine when a person with a school restrictable disease can no longer transmit the disease to others.
Q: Where does the School District get its authority to require masks?
The District’s authority comes from several places. First, Idaho law requires that the District’s Board of Trustees take steps to protect the health of the students and maintain a safe environment for students. Idaho Code § 33-512. Second, the Idaho Office of the Attorney General has issued an opinion stating that school districts have the authority to implement measures to address the threat and presence of a pandemic within their jurisdiction. Finally, the Idaho State Department of Education, Idaho State Board of Education, Governor’s Office, and Department of Health and Welfare issued a guiding document called the Idaho Back-to-School Framework. The Framework provides guidance on school districts’ reopening plans and recommends the use of masks, depending on the identified level of community transmission.
Q: Will masks be required for everyone in schools?
Yes. The District’s mask policy applies to all students, teachers, and visitors. When the District is in a Yellow or Orange stage under the CDA Public Schools Reopening Plan, students and teachers will be required to wear masks at all times while attending school, at school functions, and while riding school-provided transportation, with appropriate breaks as determined by school administrators. Visitors to school buildings will be required to wear masks upon entry. See Question 5 for disability accommodations.
Q: Will my child be disciplined or excluded for not wearing a mask?
The District understands that students, especially younger children, may have trouble keeping masks on for long periods of time and will endeavor to enforce the mask policy without resorting to exclusion, unless doing so is warranted in order to protect other students and staff. Students will be educated on routines for proper mask usage (in addition to hand washing and physical distancing) as part of teaching basic school routines at the beginning of the year.
Students who intentionally refuse to comply with the mask policy and are not subject to a disability accommodation may be required to leave school and may be subject to disciplinary action, consistent with Board Policy 3255 on Student Dress. This discipline authority will also be outlined in the emergency Board Policy regarding masks.
Q: What about sports and activities?
Mask usage for athletes will be required to the extent set forth by the IHSAA guidelines to the extent those guidelines remain consistent with local health district guidelines. When the District is in a Yellow or Orange stage, athletes and participants in other activities will be required to wear masks unless engaging in certain activities such as distance running, swimming, or strenuous activity as determined by coaches or IHSAA administrators. Coaches, staff and referees will be required to wear masks. Spectators and attendees will be required to wear masks. The District reserves the right to cancel all extracurricular activities if the Board warrants such measures are appropriate for the health and safety of staff and students.
Q: Are there exceptions for students with certain medical conditions or disabilities?
The CDC and other agencies have recognized that persons with certain medical conditions are not advised to wear face coverings. If a student, employee or visitor has a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask, the District will provide a reasonable accommodation.
The District’s obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation is governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There is no blanket exemption under the ADA for persons with disabilities; other possible accommodations will be explored in each case in addition to consideration of an exemption. Under the ADA, a reasonable accommodation is only required to the extent that the accommodation doesn’t impose an “undue hardship” on school operations. The District will examine each request for an accommodation on a case-by-case basis and will try to accommodate to the fullest extent that it can without creating a hardship. There may be a situation where a requested accommodation cannot be granted and a student will be offered remote learning opportunities as an alternative accommodation. Again, all reasonable accommodation requests for qualified persons with a disability will be considered and addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Parents who believe their child has a medical condition/disability calling for a reasonable accommodation should contact their health care provider.
Q: Does the School District have the authority to require a doctor’s note?
The ADA allows the District to require proof of a medical condition or disability requiring an accommodation. In the interest of treating all requests equally, the District will require verification from a health provider upon every request for a mask accommodation for students, teachers and visitors.
Q: My child has an existing IEP or a 504 plan. Is my child exempt from the mask requirement?
Reasonable accommodations and modifications to existing IEPs or 504 plans will be made on a case-by-case basis, based on each child’s particular needs. The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption for mask use based on all disabilities. Parents are encouraged to contact their student’s case manager if they have concerns about their child’s ability to wear a mask.
Q: The Panhandle Health District mask order says that I don’t have to provide proof of a medical condition or disability. How can the School District require this?
While students, staff and visitors are expected to abide by the Panhandle Health District order at all appropriate times, the School District’s mask requirement is separate from the Panhandle Health District order. The District is permitted to require medical documentation under the ADA for anyone seeking a disability-related accommodation.
Q: If the Panhandle Health District mask order is revoked or becomes ineffective, will the School District stop requiring masks?
The School District is required to take reasonable care to protect its students and staff. Even if the Panhandle Health District determines that a mandatory mask order is no longer needed in public areas in Kootenai County, the District is still authorized to require masks in its facilities. The District will continually monitor CDC guidelines and local guidance of health professionals and Panhandle Health District to determine if masks in school are still a reasonable and advisable safety measure. The District’s policy will be based on existing guidelines in place and level of community spread, regardless of whether there is a county or city-wide mask mandate in place.
Q: I disagree with the use of masks. Will the District accommodate me or exempt my child from the mask policy?
Students and staff will not be exempted from the requirement to wear masks at school based on personal objections. The District values parents’ right to reasonable academic accommodations under Idaho law; however, the law also requires the District to consider the needs of other students, the impacts to the classroom, and the assurance of safety. Allowing students and staff to “opt out” of the mask policy raises concerns of disruption, bullying, equity issues, and could potentially raise liability issues for the District. The District is providing an accommodation to families who oppose the use of masks by offering remote learning via eSchool.
Q: Can I or my student wear a face shield instead of a cloth mask?
On an overall basis, face shields will not be allowed as a substitute for a cloth mask based on current CDC guidance. The District may allow the use of face shields as a potential accommodation in certain cases when there are no other reasonable accommodations and when done in conjunction with other safety measures such as physical distancing.
Q: Are there any restrictions on the type of masks that may be worn?
Masks must be made of multiple layers of fabric or other tightly woven material, fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; completely cover the nose and mouth; be secured with ties or ear loops, or be capable of a tight hold to the face by a single tube of fabric (such as a neck gaiter). Masks should allow for breathing without restriction and should either be disposable or be capable of being laundered without damage or change to shape. While colored and patterned masks are permissible, any mask that is disruptive or distracting to the educational climate and process will not be allowed consistent with Board Policy 3255 on Student Dress.
Q: Can’t the schools require social distancing instead of masks?
The District is taking measures to ensure social distancing (six feet apart) at times when doing so is possible; however, because social distancing is not always guaranteed or feasible throughout the entire school day, masks are an additional safety measure, in conjunction with social distancing, to better address the safety of students and staff. There may be certain situations or activities throughout the school day where physical distance, airflow and group size will allow for masks to be removed, as determined by school administrators on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Will there be any relief or breaks from mask wearing throughout the day?
The District recognizes that students and staff will need appropriate mask breaks throughout the day. School administrators will be encouraged to schedule mask breaks and work with teachers and staff to coordinate the timing of such breaks. The District anticipates that mask breaks will occur on a regular basis but only in an environment that maintains the overall safety of staff and students. For example, students may be allowed to go outside, to a gymnasium or to another open area that allows for social distancing in a well-ventilated area, for a short period of time.
Q: Will the District provide masks to families who need assistance?
Similar to school supplies, uniforms, and other personal items, students are expected to supply their own masks. Students and staff should come prepared every day with a new disposable or clean reusable mask, and are encouraged to bring an extra mask to be carried in the student’s backpack in case the first mask becomes lost or soiled. Each school building will have disposable masks on hand to account for visitors who fail to bring a mask or for replacement of lost or soiled masks. However, supplies and budget are limited. Families who need assistance in meeting this requirement should contact their child’s school office for resources.