Eatonville school goes back to virtual learning over COVID outbreak
Eatonville Middle School sent students home on Friday, and will be temporarily moving back to virtual learning until at least mid-October.
According to a letter obtained by the Tacoma News Tribune, the Eatonville School District indicated that the decision to briefly move back to in-person learning was due to “several” reported COVID cases within the middle school.
The tentative plan for now is to bring students back on Oct. 11, but district officials also noted that the date could be subject to change.
“We understand this may be a hardship for families and is disruptive to student learning,” Superintendent Gary Neal told families. “We are working with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to investigate the cases and are consulting published guidance from the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
A vast majority of Washington schools have managed to remain fully open despite recent increases in COVID-19 cases driven by the delta variant. That said, small breakouts have been prevalent in several districts.
Seattle Public Schools is reporting 163 cases over the last two weeks as of Sept. 17, an increase of 17 compared to the week prior.
The Lake Washington School District reports 34 positive cases among students over the last two weeks. That data is also current through Sept. 17.
Bellevue School District reports 12 confirmed cases among students and staff over the last two weeks as of Sept. 24.
The Northshore School District reports 82 positive cases combined between students and staff over that same period, with 318 in quarantine.
Near Portland, Oregon, an outbreak of four cases at Reynolds High School closed down the school on Sept. 16. The school has been in remote learning ever since, with plans to bring students back in person on Monday, Sept. 27.