Sen. Murray leads hearing on school safety during the pandemic

Sep 30, 2021, 9:09 AM

school safety...

An instructor leads a classroom discussion on the first day of class at the Xavier Academy on Aug. 23, 2021, in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Washington Senator Patty Murray is leading a hearing Thursday on school safety during the pandemic.

Sen. Murray is the chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. On Thursday, she will meet with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Education to discuss ways to keep students safe and in the classroom as cases of COVID-19 rise among young people nationwide.

Northshore School District to test K-12 students weekly for COVID

Sen. Murray expressed concern about a potential lack of testing supplies.

“I am troubled, however, by the continuing testing challenges, which includes some schools not having access to enough tests right now,” she said. “We know testing would be a critical part of safely reopening schools.”

United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Javier Becerra says demand for COVID-19 testing is up 650%.

“The distribution has been difficult to get to certain places. But generally speaking, nationwide, there is sufficient total testing capacity,” Becerra said.

The hearing will also discuss how to support students, teachers, and families during this time.

Eatonville school goes back to virtual learning over COVID outbreak

In Washington state, a few local schools are now dealing with closures due to COVID-19. Lynden Christian Schools in Whatcom County is switching to remote learning for two weeks. The county health department says they have multiple cases of COVID in nearly every grade.

Students in the Pioneer School District in Shelter are learning online as well, but are expected to be back in the classroom Tuesday.

Oak Harbor’s Hand-in-Hand Early Learning Center will be closed for the next two weeks. The Everett Herald reports that several staff members and students there tested positive for COVID-19.

The MyNorthwest staff contributed to this report.

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Sen. Murray leads hearing on school safety during the pandemic