COVID-19 Update: Inslee announces mandatory school closures in King County

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Your Update on What's Happening at the King County Council  

Gov. Inslee announces mandatory school closures in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties

Dear Friends,

This afternoon, Governor Inslee announced that all public and private K-12 schools in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will close for the next six weeks. This decision impacts 43 school districts throughout the three counties.

Unless your local district has already specified an earlier closure date, schools will close from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 24. The timing will coincide with spring break for most Washington school districts.

This is the latest in a series of emergency measures implemented this week to minimize COVID-19 exposure, including:

Despite these limits on public gatherings, we will all continue to need access to key services. Retail businesses and service operators– such as grocery stores, drug stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and other retail establishments– may and should stay open, as long as they follow guidance to mimize the spread of COVID-19.

All of these emergency measures will cause significant disruptions and challenges in our communities. However, it is critical at this moment that we curb the escalation of this outbreak—and that will require a collective effort.

Public Health reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in King County to 270. In addition, there has been one new death, bringing the total deaths to 27. We have reached a point in the COVID-19 pandemic where we are seeing the number of confirmed cases in the Puget Sound area double every 5-7 days, and officials don’t expect this to slow down soon. At this time, our key goal is to minimize the number of people who get seriously ill at the same time, so that those who are at risk for severe illness are able to get the care they need. If too many people get very sick all at once, this will put an unmanageable burden on our health care system.

Anyone who is sick should continue stay home. Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should follow Public Health guidance on what to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Please continue to visit the Public Health website to review current guidance and stay up to date on the latest information regarding COVID-19.

I will continue to update you as more information becomes available. Thank you to everyone for making the sacrifices needed to help keep our families, friends, and neighbors healthy and safe. We will need to rely on each other in the weeks ahead to get through this trying time.


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Reagan Dunn
Vice Chair
Metropolitan King County Council