Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he’s encouraging school districts to send more students back to the classroom.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the governor said the state will expand an in-school Covid testing program from an initial pilot project to include 13 districts, including Spokane.
"It has become part of our playbook for returning our students to classes. About 50 more school districts will now be participating in this voluntary program, starting this month and we hope these numbers will grow," Inslee said.
In Spokane, testing began on students and staff with symptoms of the virus about a month ago. The district has held drive-through clinics at at least two schools, with plans for in-school testing for students at some point. Fifth and sixth graders recently returned to the classroom, at least part-time, in Spokane. The district will hold a webinar next Monday to discuss the next steps for seventh and eighth graders.
Inslee says more than 175 Washington schools have welcomed students back for at least part of the school week and are doing so safely. He says the state recommends school districts follow CDC guidelines for schools as they work to return children to classrooms.