School closures and frequently asked questions about COVID-19


The state Department of Healthwants to keep you as informed as possible about continuing developments surrounding COVID-19 as well as guidance and resources you can share with employees, clients, or customers.

Schools closed throughout state. Gov. Jay Inslee and Superintendent Chris Reykdal announced that all K-12 schools will be closed in Washington at least through April 24. This closure is intended to interrupt the spread of COVID-19. This is bound to be a stressful time for families needing to find a safe place for their children quickly. Some things to remember as you navigate these unprecedented challenges:

  • Remember to practice techniques that work for you to manage your own stress. Sleep, exercise, good nutrition, meditation. We need to make sure we stay healthy and resilient in the face of such a stressful time.
  • Because our elders are at high risk of severe disease from COVID-19, please be respectful of people over age 60 trying to isolate themselves at home. Even if they are your parents. And even if they are begging to provide childcare. For the health and safety of the loving grandparents, consider whether it’s possible for your family to find an alternate source of backup childcare.
  • Consider whether you can support working families in your neighborhood by sharing care of small groups of kids.
  • Take the kids outside as the weather gets warmer and enjoy our parks instead of crowded indoor spaces.
  • Pay attention to your particular school district and the services they are offering. Some schools are finding ways to continue to provide lunch or on-line learning.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the guidance for gatherings of fewer than 50 people? Check your county website to see if your county has given specific guidance, but, in general, it’s a good idea for people who are over age 60 or have chronic health conditions to avoid crowds of any size. If the gathering you are planning is likely to have people in these high-risk categories, consider whether it can be delayed or whether you might be able to switch to an on-line way of gathering.

What are people’s options for compensation when their workplace closes temporarily? The Employment Security Department has just adopted a series of emergency rules to help people who are affected by COVID-19 and have a temporary layoff, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. Check out their website to see what benefits might be helpful to you.

Numbers. The latest numbers are on our web page, which we update daily. As of today’s totals, 642 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 40 have died of the disease. The numbers are going up quickly as more labs begin testing.

Practice compassion. Please think about how you might help the parents who are struggling right now to find a safe place for their kids to be. Is there something you might be able to pick up for an older friend or neighbor so they don’t need to leave the house?

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Get and spread reliable information on COVID-19

This blog update is current as of the day it is posted, but information changes rapidly. Please check our website for the most up-to-date info on Washington’s response to COVID-19 at

Fight stigma, public panic, and misinformation by getting your information from trusted sources. Listen to guidance from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and your local health department.

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state, start by visiting our website. Please contact our call center 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 1 (800) 525–0127.

Courtesy Washington State Department of Health

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