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Exception to Return to In-Person School is not Supported Currently

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September 02, 2020
Kittitas County, WA - 08/31/2020 - The Kittitas County Incident Management Team will continue to work with local school districts regarding student safety from COVID-19. At this time, school districts may petition for exception to the recommendation from Kittitas County and our Regional Partners (Chelan- Douglas Health District, Grant County Health District, and Okanagan County Health Department) if the district wants to pursue in-person school when COVID-19 incident rates are above 75 cases per 100,000 population within the last two-week period of available data. The Kittitas School District recently submitted a request for exception, but that exception cannot be supported by Kittitas County IMT or Regional Partners at this time.

The Kittitas County IMT and regional partners have the following measures of risk related to educational activities:
  • We do not support a return to in-person classroom instruction when the county incidence of COVID-19 is above 75 / 100,000 / 14 days for 2 consecutive weeks.
  • We support a hybrid approach with K-5 and other educationally high-risk groups in-person in classrooms with COVID precautions when the county incidence of COVID-19 is < 75 / 100,000 / 14 days for 2 consecutive weeks (and > 25 / 100,000 / 14 days).
  • We support return to in-person classroom instruction for all student populations, with COVID-19 precautions, when the county incidence of COVID-19 is < 25 / 100,000 / 14 days for 2 consecutive weeks.

Kittitas County currently has an incident rate of 92.3 via https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/covid-19-risk-assessment-dashboard. At this incident rate, the regional recommendation for student safety is to proceed with online learning.  The IMT’s goal is for students to safely return to school, which would mean an incident rate of less than 25 percent. 

The Kittitas IMT and our regional partners will continue to assist school districts with their safety measures, provide recommendations, and review any petitions for exceptions.  How a school districts proceed is at the discretion of their school board.  “The Kittitas County Public Health Department has been working collaboratively with the Kittitas School District Leadership, states Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson, “ and we will continue to assist the district with whatever we can in for Kittitas School District students and staff to be as safe as possible.” For the full regional guidance document, please visit the Grant County Health District at http://granthealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/K12regionalHOguidance.pdf.

If you have questions about your health, please contact your healthcare provider or you can call the Temporary COVID Clinic at KVH at 509-933-8850.  If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the Emergency Department at KVH.  If you have general questions about COVID-19, please call the EOC at 509-933-8315 or 509-933-8305.


Exception to Return to In-Person School is not Supported Currently.pdf
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us
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For more information:
Kasey Knutson, Public Information Officer, (509) 962-7515
Contact:
Kasey Knuston
509-962-7515