During yesterday’s Board of Health meeting, staff from the Yakima Health District and Board of Health members heard various comments from community leaders and the public regarding the reopening of schools.
During the meeting, YHD staff were directed to work with school administrators on developing solutions for a safe return of students for in-person learning for schools that remain in remote instruction. There was no change in the recommendations for in-person learning. This recommendation was last made on November 15, 2020.
The Yakima Health District will continue to evaluate additional data released by the CDC, such as a recent report that demonstrates low risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools when safety protocols are followed. The Yakima Health District will also continue to evaluate COVID-19 trends in Yakima County to help schools plan for safe in-person instruction.
Furthermore, the Yakima Health District will hold a meeting next week with school superintendents to further discuss safe reopening options, which may include a phased-in hybrid learning model for high schools. Students and their parents/guardians are encouraged to visit their school district’s website and social media for additional updates.
“Reopening schools is a community effort. We must all work together so that we can help limit the spread of the virus in our community and keep COVID-19 out of our schools. This means that we need to continue wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart, limiting social gatherings, and practice other safety precautions that will minimize the spread of the virus,” said Ryan Ibach, Chief Operating Officer, Yakima Health District.