Health Officer Recommends Some In-classroom Study

Chehalis, WA – In a letter to school superintendents, Lewis County Health Officer Rachel Wood, M.D., MPH, recommends schools can begin some in-person classes, potentially as early as September 28.

The letter reads in part:

  • School districts should promote behaviors that reduce the spread of the COVID virus, such as:
    • Social distancing at 6 feet, wearing face coverings, washing hands, and sanitizing all surfaces – especially frequently touched surfaces.
    • Screening those children who did not get screened at home.
    • Staggering schedules
    • Grouping children in smaller cohorts
    • Preparing to respond if somebody gets sick, either staff or student, such that a return to distance learning could happen smoothly when either student or staff need to isolate or quarantine.
  • Continue distance learning only for the majority of students in Lewis County as described in my August 3, 2020 recommendations.
  • Consider restarting in-person Kindergarten no sooner than September 28, 2020.
  • Consider allowing middle- and high-school students to attend in-person instruction no sooner than September 28, 2020 in groups no larger than five (5) for laboratory sciences and career and technical education courses requiring on-site attendance to engage in hands-on learning activities that cannot be replicated in a virtual environment.

The Lewis County Schools Workgroup, comprised of school superintendents, local pediatricians, Dr. Wood, and Lewis County Public Health & Social Services staff, will review these new recommendations at its upcoming meeting next week.

Dr. Wood concluded her letter with praise for the Workgroup’s efforts. “I am encouraged by your efforts on behalf of Lewis County families. Keeping our students and educational and support staff healthy is essential to the health of our county.”

Posted: September 03, 2020