All Washington schools instructed to provide full-time, in-person learning for upcoming school year

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has instructed schools to provide full-time, in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year.

The latest guidance released Thursday states that all people inside schools must wear at least a cloth face covering when indoors, as well as outdoors when a minimum of six feet distancing cannot be maintained.

Schools must also have basic ventilation, cleaning and infection control plans, as well as set instructions for students who end up ill or in quarantine.

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Physical distancing of at least three feet between students will continue to be recommended, but should not prevent a school from offering full-time, in-person learning.

“Schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being. They provide children with academic instruction, support for developing social and emotional skills, safety, reliable nutrition and more,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah. “We are releasing this guidance early to give the school districts in Washington the opportunity to put plans in place for a safe and successful 2021-2022 school year.”

In addition to mandatory mitigation efforts, schools will need to follow all relevant “Healthy Washington” guidance with regards to extracurricular activities.

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