VIDEO: Governor orders all King, Pierce, Snohomish K-12 schools closed until April 27th

(Governor’s Office photo)

2:04 PM: Governor Inslee has just announced that ALL K-12 schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties must be closed by next Tuesday, and won’t be able to reopen before April 27th. He says this is a “tipping point” if there is hope of slowing the COVID-19 outbreak. (Most, but not all, schools in our area already have closed or announced closure plans.) He says this might have to expand to other counties but right now he’s starting with these three. “Our top priority is reducing the number of infections and deaths.”

State Superintendent Chris Reykdal says that while it’s good that kids aren’t being affected as much by the virus, they can be “carriers.” Regarding the return to school on April 27th, he says they’ll be “constantly reviewing” that plan. He says King County schools’ absence rate has almost doubled recently (6% to 11%). He stresses the point that “this is not like the flu” and systems have to prepare for the possibility of longer closures, including figuring out how distance learning would work. Reykdal says everyone should think of next week as “spring break” so that substitute education, food, etc., plans can be made. He also says state funding for public schools will “keep flowing.” They’re also still figuring out what this will mean for high-school seniors. State testing, however, will likely be entirely suspended, he says.

Will these lost days have to be made up? Reykdal says they’ve advised districts that likely some days – assuming schools DO resume April 27th – will have to be made up, but there’s no “mathematical” way that ALL the lost days can or will be made up.

As for colleges, any still open need to be getting ready for potential closures, the governor says.

2:57 PM: The briefing is over so we’ve taken down the live-video window and put up a still photo. (If/when we find archived video, we’ll add it.) Here’s the governor’s news release.

5:01 PM: Here’s the video:

34 Replies to "VIDEO: Governor orders all King, Pierce, Snohomish K-12 schools closed until April 27th"

  • Zark00 March 12, 2020 (2:20 pm)

    Wow. I wonder if this is unprecedented. I couldn’t find anything about school closures on this scale in the past.Terrifying side note – reading comments on MyNorthwest – many, MANY (thank God not all), of our far right neighbors and friends truly believe this is all a hoax perpetuated by the left to take down Trump. The delusion is palpable. One commenter literally said ‘Do ANY of you know anyone who caught it? See it’s all a hoax.’ It’s surreal reading those comments. 

    • WSB March 12, 2020 (3:39 pm)

      While I am a defender of NOT dropping commenting capability as too many news sites have done – that is one site where even I would warn, “don’t read the comments.”

      • rme March 12, 2020 (4:15 pm)

        I just went and looked out of curiosity and I am genuinely terrified. 

        • WS REZ March 12, 2020 (4:52 pm)

          So did I. WOW!People are truly shocking. They can only say it’s a hoax for so long until someone they care for (or themselves) suffer from it.

    • Trickycoolj March 12, 2020 (4:16 pm)

      Here is a 15 year old from Seattle’s journal entries from when they closed schools in 1918 for the Spanish Flu: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/03/07/coronavirus-seattle-washington-quarantine-1918-spanish-flu/4964025002/

      • just wondering March 12, 2020 (5:12 pm)

        Very interesting to read the journal entries of a young person in 1918.

    • wscommuter March 12, 2020 (5:37 pm)

      Unfortunately, the alternative lie being spun, which will likely supplant this bit of ignorance once these whackos start seeing sick people, is that Covid-19 is a “bio-weapon” from China.  We all have an obligation to stick to reality/facts/truth in the face of ignorance.  That part is the unavoidable dark underbelly of this health crisis.  

    • JSB March 13, 2020 (8:47 am)

      There have always been under educated, under informed, paranoid folks with strong opinions. The beauty of the internet is that it gives a voice to everyone regardless of their relative sanity equanimity, or insight.  Don’t worry: it doesn’t do you any good; In fact the stress it causes you is not good at all.  Stay healthy, and try to stay positive and hopeful.  You’ll be better for it.

  • Cycleman March 12, 2020 (2:31 pm)

    Great!!! Finally people are taking this seriously. This is a good start to tackle this virus.

  • Lisa March 12, 2020 (2:42 pm)

    Has anyone read or heard anything that might indicate they’ll make all or part of WA state a containment zone? I hope not but seems like the next step after shutting down the schools.

    • CAM March 12, 2020 (5:28 pm)

      Apparently Trump suggested during a press conference today that he could choose to limit travel into (but no reference to out of?) Washington if things got “too hot.” He threw California in there too. He would not respond to requests for clarification. 

  • Kara March 12, 2020 (3:04 pm)

    Any info for daycares or preschools?  I’m sure many follow the school district but is there any mandate for them?

  • MercyMoi March 12, 2020 (3:08 pm)

    I wish this was the year we could experiment with year round school, for which I am a proponent (with small breaks in between sessions). But it doesn’t seem like it will happen, sounds like we’ll just make up time in June. 

    I mention the year round school idea bbecause I’m worried that kids from SPS will be at a disadvantage for having missed so much instruction – compared to the students who are continuing with distance learning during this period.

  • Jill March 12, 2020 (3:19 pm)

    Does this apply to all private schools and preschools too? 

    • MercyMoi March 12, 2020 (3:43 pm)

      All public and private K-12 schools. Preschools will make their own calls, some have already decided to stay open.

    • Bob March 12, 2020 (3:52 pm)

      Public and private k-12. Not sure what preschools and colleges are doing. Hopefully there’s a list in the works. 

      • WSB March 12, 2020 (3:57 pm)

        We mentioned in the story above, he responded to the question about colleges during the briefing.

    • K to the F March 12, 2020 (4:54 pm)

      Bella Mente closed starting today for 2 weeks (as of yesterday) so we’ll see where it goes from there.

  • Michael Waldo March 12, 2020 (4:27 pm)

    Well, my wife is a school teacher. She has questions that have not been answered. half of her students families are in poverty and the  students get free or reduced lunches and often breakfast. How will these meals be replaced? Distant learning? A lot of her families have no internet or computer in there homes.  Single parents who now have to stay home with their kids? How are they going to cover the rent?

  • Cycleman March 12, 2020 (5:37 pm)

    Why the warning??? The comments are reasonable. 

  • zephyr March 12, 2020 (6:48 pm)

    WSB, do you have the embed code for this video that I can use on another forum?  I looked through the Share listings and only saw a wide variety of social media outlets.  Thanks. 

  • flimflam March 12, 2020 (6:55 pm)

    i have searched a bit on my own, but in light of even libraries being closed, does anyone know why bars and restaurants are still allowed to be open?i work in one, and we have been pretty busy – which is wonderful for the owner i suppose, but he has so far not seemed like he intends to close up at all. i realize that would be a scary decision to make and not all the employees could afford it, but in the greater good, why is this allowed? also, why, for crying out loud, are people filling some of these places up? i feel like the service industry is being shoved into a dangerous position – not necesarrily for me personally, but for the continued spread of this virus. we always follow safe practices re: cleanliness but this is expecting too much i think.

    • Jenny March 12, 2020 (8:31 pm)

      I totally agree–you can flatten the curve, or you can go to restaurants, but you can’t do both.

      • flimflam March 12, 2020 (9:45 pm)

        thank you.  i know $$ fears are well founded but i am <this> close to telling the boss i am am done for a while. i feel tremendous guilt in that i am the chef/mgr/whatever that if i don’t work, the business, and more importantly my co-workers will suffer. i also feel it is totally irresponsible to be open and acting like we are some immune bubble. i keep hearing, “well, its only old people that are at risk you see” as if excess socializing can’t somehow get back to “the old people”.  it’s really sick just how much money influences everything…the fear of not having it, the fear of losing it, the fear of where it will come from in the future.

    • Howard March 12, 2020 (9:15 pm)

      I feel ya brah. 

  • zephyr March 12, 2020 (8:03 pm)

    Thanks, WSB.  I appreciate it.  I can’t get it to work over there (the other platform), but I tried.  (I’m still a novice at this sort of thing.)  ;)  Usually I just copy and paste like I am posting a YouTube video.  I’ll see if someone over there can help.  Again, thank you. 

    • WSB March 12, 2020 (8:27 pm)

      If the embed won’t work you can at least point people to the link I gave you and they can watch it on the TVW site.

      • zephyr March 12, 2020 (8:28 pm)

        Yes, of course.  Thank you. 

  • WW Resident March 13, 2020 (4:20 am)

    We’re up to 300 cases in Washington now of the apocalyptic virus that causes people to turn into flesh eating zombies! Wait…. what…. most people who get it experience mild symptoms and some may not even realize this is what they have? It’s a virus that much like influenza (which kills up to 590,000 people annually) can unfortunately target older people with compromised immune systems, so we should take extra precautions within this community? The irony is that for many of these children removed from schools, it will be this demographic (grandma and grandpa) who end up spending the most time with the children as they have to babysit them. 

  • SO March 13, 2020 (7:57 am)

    85% of people will be fine.  Even with all of these closures Covid-19 isn’t going away.  It will never go away.  Coronavirus has been around forever and will probably mutate again and again in the future.  A vaccine will be here in no time! (Wouldn’t it be funny if the anti-vaccine folks were now demanding a Covid-19 vaccine?) The only benefit I see in slowing the spread is that it will relax the strain on hospitals.  Closing restaurants, bars and coffeeshops would be the final nail in the coffin for a lot service workers, including myself. I’ve watched every WA press conference and listened to infectious disease experts and they all say the same thing: settle down.  Btw, 138,000 people die each year from snake bites.

  • Mj March 13, 2020 (5:47 pm)

    The SPS needs to set up online learning, other school districts have done so

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