Kittitas County’s leadership continues to coordinate during difficult decisions related to COVID-19. This is a difficult time for everyone; this is a time when the community normally is preparing for fair, rodeo, and the return to school. Members of Kittitas County leadership have differing opinions, yet share ideas in common – education is important, local control is vital.

Everyone agrees that education is critical for our youth. Everyone agrees that the best place for students is in school. Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson has been encouraging the public to lower the incident rate in order for students to return in person, safely, for weeks. The Board of County Commissioners supports local school districts to do what is best for their students. “We know that we have a strong community,” states Commissioner Brett Wachsmith. “We can rely on Kittitas County Leadership, specifically our educational leaders, to do what is best for their local districts.”

Ultimately, school districts make the decision on how a school will proceed this fall. For clarification, recent recommendations are just that – recommendations for safety. And, those recommendations come from the local and regional Health Officers (Kittitas County, Chelan-Douglas Health District, Grant County Health District, and Okanagan Health Department). The recommendation does not come from the Kittitas County Incident Management Team (IMT).

What comes from the IMT is continued support to be as safe as possible with regard to COVID-19. The IMT will continue to be responsive to the needs of this community. And, our needs right now are how we can do the best we can, the safest we can, for our youth of Kittitas County. “Our focus is doing everything we can as a community to help youth during this time as well as high-risk populations for COVID-19,” states Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson. “We will continue to work with all school districts in Kittitas County to provide them assistance while they navigate the return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

If you have questions about your health, please contact your healthcare provider or you can call the Temporary COVID Clinic at KVH at 509-933-8850. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the Emergency Department at KVH. If you have general questions about COVID-19, please call the EOC at 509-933-8315 or 509-933-8305.

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