BFHD says secondary schools should stay closed

TRI-CITIES – Benton-Franklin Health District Officer Dr. Amy Peterson has informed school district administrators that middle and high school students can’t safely return to their classrooms under the current spike in cases of COVID-19.

This recommendation supersedes the earlier plan of allowing a phased-in return to classes at the secondary level. That overturns her feeling that it was safe to return as long as it was done with precautions.

“This is a fluid process as disease burden fluctuates and we watch who is getting the virus, where outbreaks are occurring, where and how schools are seeing success, and the safety net schools can provide, especially for students with barriers to success at home,” she wrote in her new take on returning to school.

It is up to each school district to decide when and how to reopen school doors. The counties are seeing an average of more than 125 cases a day.