Schools and Childcare
Current guidance for schools and childcare facilities.
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.
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.
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.
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