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When is it safe to reopen schools? Snohomish County health officials are considering a list of factors

While the number of cases has been declining, health officials will consider certain matters before classes personally become an option.

Snohomish County coronavirus batch numbers are going in the right direction, but health officials are taking a cautious approach to reopening classrooms.

Snohomish County Health Office Chris Spitters said at a nationwide coronavirus briefing Tuesday that he calls for “taking a step-by-step approach every three weeks or so… to see if there are any harmful effects in COVID transmission.”


Many districts, including in Snohomish County, have started the school year externally to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Last month, Attorney General Chris Reykdal said the reopening of schools is up to county health officials and local school districts.

“The governor has kept this as a local decision and what they are looking at is the high risk over 75 cases per 100,000 over a 14-day period. The middle one is 25 to 75 cases.”

Reykdal is said to have great confidence locally, districts are seeking to bring their number down to no more than 25 new cases per year. 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period.

In Snohomish County, the rate of two weeks through September 12 was down to 43.5 cases per year. 100,000.

Spitters said the county would see where things stand a few weeks after Labor Day. If the rate holds, he will recommend a plan for a certain level of personal learning in Snohomish County.

He said there should be no “significant change in the direction of COVID numbers and no particular school has a problem. Then they can look at starting to layer in elementary schools in that district.”

Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday that while the rejection of cases is encouraging, he would not guess when the school would be back in the classroom.

“We hope this reduction in infection continues. If it does, it will of course go back to the classroom at some point, but when that happens, I can not give you a prognosis.”

The governor added that when it comes to coronavirus, he is dedicated to listening to health officials and looking at science.

There are now more than 80,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of Washington. On Tuesday, the state reported a further 327 cases. That brings the confirmed cases to 80,465. The Department of Health has reported nine more deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,015.

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