The CDC makes recommendations on safety protocols and practices. As we have seen over the past year, states can adopt or ignore CDC guidance. In Washington State:
- The State Department of Health reviews CDC guidance and determines what will apply and how it will apply in our state. DOH provides school districts with guidance on how to safely operate schools.
- The State Department of Labor & Industries also reviews CDC guidance and determines how employers will implement the guidance at their workplaces and how employees can seek help from L&I in the event of safety violations or concerns.
- As Governor, Inslee has broad executive powers to proclaim states of emergency and direct employers, schools, or other organizations to operate under or meet certain conditions in response to emergencies.
In King County, Seattle-King County Public Health reviews DOH and L&I guidance and helps employers, businesses, schools, and other groups in King County understand how to apply the safety guidance to their workplace or setting. SKCPH directly oversees all public schools in King County and can order schools to close in the event of unsafe conditions or disease outbreak.
Safety Guidance for LWSD schools:
1. LWSD receives guidance from DOH and L&I on how to safely operate schools for students and employees. Here are the key documents that LWSD uses:
- DOH Guidance for K-12 Schools
- L&I Employer Health and Safety Requirements for School Scenarios
- DOH maintains a COVID dashboard
- SKCPH maintains a COVID dashboard
2. LWSD has incorporated much of this guidance into a COVID Safety Plan in accordance with OSPI rules. The Safety Plan is updated each month.
3. Governor Inslee has issued a number emergency orders and proclamations that impact the operation of schools:
- Proclamation: High-Risk Employees - Workers' Rights
- Proclamation: Children and Youth Mental Health Crisis
4. OSPI has provided schools with guidance for operating schools during the pandemic: OSPI COVID-19 Guidance and Resources