Department of Health: More than half of Washington counties meet criteria to resume some in-person classes

OLYMPIA, Wash – New data from the Washington Department of Health show 24 of Washington’s 39 counties meet the criteria to resume some in-person schooling.

The DOH made that statement in a briefing with reporters Wednesday.

4 News Now asked for clarification on the data, which was sent to us Thursday morning.

Washington risk assessment database

The state points to this phase and risk assessment tab of this database, which tracks cases and testing statewide.

The data are from a two-week period between August 23 and September 5. It shows that 15 counties, including Spokane, had more than 75 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days. Those counties are considered in the “high” range, where distance learning is still recommended.

It’s worth noting, however, that Spokane Counties cases have dipped slightly in the days since.

Fifteen other counties had between 25 and 75 cases per 100,000 over 14 days. Those counties are considered to be in the “moderate” range; that’s when the state says it’s safe for counties to begin in-person learning, starting with elementary school students.

Finally, nine counties are at or below 25 cases per 100,000. Those counties are in the “low transmission range” where “in person learning is encouraged to some degree for all students,” according to Lacy Fehrenbach from the Department of Health.

Some counties in Washington have begun some level of in-person learning, but most students statewide are learning virtually, at least to start the school year.

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