Inslee announces schools will be closed through end of academic year

Staff Writer

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that all K-12 schools will remain closed through the academic year in a press conference today to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Inslee previously announced a six-week closure of all public and private schools on March 13 — 20 days ago. That closure was extended to May 4 last week, but as the virus continues to spread both nationwide and globally, that deadline to return grew less likely.
"We simply cannot take the chance of reopening on site instruction in this calendar school year," Inslee said. "We cannot risk losing the gains we have made after the peak of this pandemic presumably will have passed."
Experts have stressed that this week will see the peak of the virus' spread. Washington was the first state with a COVID-19 case that quickly spread across the west side of the state, particularly in King County. With preventative measures and the enforcement of social distancing, Washington is now one of the slowest spreading states in the nation and will soon fall out of the top 10 most infected in the country, behind Texas and Georgia, according to New York Times spread rate data.
Washington students will be getting instruction through "distance learning" and are expected to start again in a new school year this fall.
"Your grades will not suffer because of this," Inslee said. "Use this moment to embrace learning."