OLYMPIA, WA - On Tuesday Governor Jay Inslee announced schools across the state should begin the return to in-person learning. The change comes after the CDC released updated guidelines last week, stating in-person learning can be done safely.

Federal guidelines also say while mass vaccines for teachers are recommended it is not a requirement. 

Following CCD recommendations Inslee says it’s time for schools in Washington to open back up.

"We have demonstrated, and what the CDC has conferred is that we can have on-site education in a safe and effective way. And this is really great news for all of us," said Inslee during a press conference.  

However, parents will have the choice to send their kids back to school or resume with remote learning if they wish. 

According to Inslee, aside from prevention measures like ventilation, masking up and social distancing, those heading back into the classroom can expect voluntary on-site COVID-19 testing to play a big role in preventing the spread of the virus. 

School districts will have the option to sign up with the Health Commons Project to make sure they have access to "sustainable" COVID-19 testing.

"The Learn to Return Testing Program is a continuation of our work to ensure that Washington communities have equitable access to low barrier evidence-based COVID-19 testing services," said Sarah Sutton, Project Manager for the Health Commons Project. 

Sutton went on to say each school that signs up will be assigned its testing strategist that will work with the school to customize the program to fit the needs of the community.