Wednesday afternoon Gov. Jay Inslee outlined K-12 school opening recommendations by grouping counties into high-risk, moderate-risk and low-risk categories.
Gov. Inslee said the Washington State Department of Health along with the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction are recommending beginning the year online and canceling extracurricular activities for high-risk counties.
High-risk counties have more than 75 new cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period.
According to Gov. Inslee, 25 counties, including Spokane County, are considered to be high risk.
For moderate risk counties, the Health Department is recommending distance learning for middle school and high school with possible in-person learning for elementary. Gov. Inslee said moderate risk counties should also cancel extracurricular activities.
Counties are considered moderate if they have more than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period.
According to Gov. Inslee, only five counties are in the low-risk category with fewer than 25 news cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period.
Low-risk counties are recommended to create a hybrid in-person and distance learning model for middle school and high school. Low-risk counties are recommended to have full-time in-person elementary learning.
Gov. Inslee said people need to continue to use face coverings and practice social distancing so Washington can send kids back to the classroom.