UPDATE: As expected, the governor has ordered schools to remain closed -- and distance learning to continue -- through the end of the school year in June.
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Days after Washington's "stay-at-home" order was extended through at least May 4, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal conceded that returning to school before the end of this academic year is "going to be really tough to do."
Reykdal, who was answering frequently asked questions on a video posted over the weekend, said the timeline for reopening schools is at the top of nearly every parent's mind. It's an answer he doesn't have.
"I don’t know if we’re coming back to school this year, and I want to be honest about that. It’s going to be really tough to do, because we want to make sure people are safe, and if we rush back to school and put all of us in tight classrooms … there’s a chance that our caseload peaks back up again. And that would absolutely be the worst thing for public health," he said.
All schools have been closed statewide since March 13, with the closure set to last through April 24, according to Gov. Jay Inslee's order. But with the extension of the statewide "stay-at-home" order, it's safe to say the students won't be returning before May.
Inslee and Reykdal are holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak.
As of Sunday afternoon, there were 7,984 confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide, with at least 338 deaths.