According to information released by the Walla Walla School District, students will remain in a "red" condition and not begin hybrid until after December 18th. That, coincidentally, is the start of the District's winter break.

Superintendent Wade Smith stated the Walla Walla County Health District reported the positivity rate is at 15% and supposedly 20% of their cases cannot be traced to a contact.  Supposedly the state has seen a jump, 46 new cases reported Nov. 18.

Keep in mind, these are cases that may have been tested that day, or even up to ten days ago.  New cases are considered when they are reported. It doesn't mean they all 'occurred' in the same day--46 people did not necessarily get 'sick' in one day.

However, WWCHD officials say the levels are too high to recommend hybrid, and all WW Students will remain online. The District has not begun any kind of hybrid return, even for grade school students.

Superintendent Smith said in a release:

“While we desperately want to be serving students in person, the current virus activity simply doesn’t permit us to do so at this time. We have to do our part to protect our students, staff and families from this serious health crisis, and not exacerbate community spread by prematurely opening.”

He went on to reiterate what has been said by many area school officials, including Kennewick, that they would continue to monitor cases and work with the health department and when numbers go down turn attention to the implementation of hybrid learning.

Walla Walla County has a 2019 population of 60,760 people. There have been a total of 1885 confirmed cases since reporting began. That is 3.1 percent of the total population. There have been a total (including positives) of 30,975 tests, the positives represent 6.1 percent of those tested.

There have been 18 deaths since day 'one' which is 0.9 of the total positives. The death rate vs. the overall population of the county is 0.02 percent.

It's also worth noting that 212 of those cases are in the Washington State Penitentiary next to town, where those people are VERY unlikely to come in contact with the general population. 55 of them are active, and ARE included in the active case counts. Some officials want them removed for these reasons--they're people in prison.

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