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Update 1/11: Current guidance for schools continues to follow the governor's Decision Tree announced 12/16, and remains separate from the Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery plan.

Update 12/16: Gov. Jay Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced an update in the metrics used to inform local school district decisions for in-person learning. In King County, many schools and higher education institutions in Washington State began the 2020 – 21 school year with remote learning. Some districts have announced their plans to return to in-person learning.

Child care and early learning programs are open.

For a comprehensive set of COVID-19 resources, visit King County’s COVID-19 Schools and Childcare webpage that includes checklists for preventing COVID-19, disinfecting guidance, fact sheets for families, face covering information, what to do if you have a suspected or confirmed case, and more.

FAQ about Schools and Childcare during COVID-19

What's Allowed in Phase 1 of Healthy Washington, beginning Jan. 11:

Indoor: Low-risk sports: Practice and training in stable groups of no more than 5 athletes. Appointment-based training: max 45 minute session, no more than 1 customer or athlete per room or per 500 sq. ft. for larger facilities.

Outdoor: Low and moderate risk sports: Practice and training only (no tournaments)

  • Low risk sports = golf, tennis, cross country, gymnastics, climbing, non-contact dance, martial arts
  • Moderate risk sports = soccer, baseball, hockey and more.
  • High risk sports = football, basketball, wrestling, and more.

Read the full guidance from the state

Update 12/16: Gov. Jay Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced an update in the metrics used to inform local school district decisions for in-person learning.

The update to the school health and safety toolkit comes after recent data showed limited COVID-19 transmission in school environments when state health and safety protocols are implemented.

Washington State Department of Health suggests three categories for re-introducing in-person learning:

  • For schools in counties where COVID-19 cases are “low” (less than 50 residents per 100,000), in-person learning should be made available for all students.
  • In counties where COVID-19 cases are “moderate” (between 50 and 350 residents per 100,000), in-person learning should be phased in, starting with elementary students not already attending in person and middle school students, followed by high school students.
  • Finally, in counties where COVID-19 cases are “high” (over 350 per 100,000 residents), it’s recommended that schools should only offer in-person instruction for elementary and high-need students in small groups of 15 students or fewer.

The state also released guidance for ventilation of indoor spaces.

For more information on schools, childcare and information for colleges and universities, visit Washington State Department of Health’s K-12 information page.

Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) has developed the King County Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit to support schools as they reopen for in-person instruction.

This guidance is intended to supplement WA Department of Health K-12 Schools Fall 2020-21 Guidance and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction resources with local contact tracing and COVID-19 response guidance.

Gov. Inslee released additional guidance related to overnight group summer camps on July 31.

  • The types of camps and programs included in this guidance are allowed to operate during all phases of the Governor's Safe Start Plan.
  • Group sizes should total no more than 22 people. (Camps may operate with multiple groups so long as physical distancing can be maintained.)
  • Use of cloth face coverings by staff and children (possible exemptions are noted)
  • Physical distancing should be observed during camp activities and drop off/pick up.
  • Health screenings should be conducted upon arrival.
  • Sports-related activities must follow the Governor's Guidelines for Sporting Activities and CDC Guidance for Youth Sports