Officials mull loosening COVID restrictions for schools

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state health officials are considering changing the disease metrics that guide school district reopening decisions during the pandemic. The Seattle Times reports the changes, if adopted, mean up to half the state’s 300 school districts would meet the benchmark to start educating their youngest learners in person at least part time. Under the state’s current reopening guidelines, which aren’t legally binding, school districts are advised to educate students remotely unless their county posts a coronavirus infection rate of fewer than 75 cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. The draft changes to those guidelines would increase that threshold to 200 cases per 100,000.