Thurston County health officer recommends remote learning for all county schools in fall

Thurston County health officer recommends remote learning for all county schools in fall

THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. — On Thursday, the Thurston County health officer recommended remote learning for all county schools in the fall.

Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek released a letter Thursday to all of the counties’ superintendents, advising them to remain closed to in-person instruction for the fall, which would help to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The letter stated in part:

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“The directive states, pursuant to the authority granted by the legislature in RCW 70.05.070(3), in order to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 within my jurisdiction, at this time I strongly urge and recommend all K-12 schools to remain closed to in-person general instruction for the 2020 Fall term and for districts to utilize distance learning modalities. Districts may elect to offer in-person specialized learning opportunities to groups of no more than five students, provided the district follows all state and local health and safety requirements. Failure to comply with this recommendation may require stronger restrictions in the future up to and including mandatory closure.

“This has been a hard decision for public health and the superintendents to grapple with over the past couple weeks,” said Abdelmalek, “but we have to do what is safest for our teachers, students, and community as a whole.”