State orders distance learning through end of the school year

Washington’s public and private schools will remain closed until the end of the school year, Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Monday afternoon. Schools are expected to continue providing online and distance learning opportunities for all students. Watch Inslee’s news conference with state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal.

The Tribal Council closed Chief Leschi Schools and Grandview Early Learning Center last month. Watch for updates Chief Leschi’s status on its website.

More Pierce County COVID-19 cases reported

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department confirmed 31 new COVID-19 cases on April 6, bringing the county’s total to 717 cases and 11 deaths.

Statewide, there have been 7,984 confirmed cases and 338 deaths, according to the state Department of Health. So far, about 91,000 people have been tested and about 91 percent of those tests were negative.

Health officials recommend cloth face masks in public settings

Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend people wear cloth face masks when they are in public settings taking care of essential business, such as going to grocery stores, hardware stores and health clinics.

Cloth coverings are not a substitute for handwashing, physical social distancing and staying at home when you are ill.

Instead, they are an extra preventative measure that can help reduce the release of infectious particles in the air when someone speaks, coughs or sneezes.

Cloth masks should be washed frequently, ideally after every use. In addition, you should wash your hands before and after touching and adjusting the face covering.

Due to a national shortage of personal protective equipment, N95 and other medical-grade face masks should be reserved for frontline health care workers and first responders, officials say.

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