Updates to PK-12 masking requirements

July 28, 2021

Fellow educators,

It may be midsummer, but the health and safety of our students, educators, and communities is never far from our minds. Today, Governor Inslee made an announcement that all Washington PK-12 schools will require masks for students and staff in indoor spaces. We know that none of our students under 12 years old are vaccinated and only about half of our students 12-18 are vaccinated; masking will bring safety and peace of mind to our school communities.

WEA believes every student has the right to a safe, equitable education, including students with health conditions or disabilities. Keeping students, staff, and our community safe from COVID takes following public health guidance for social distancing, vaccination, and masking.

WEA applauds the Governor’s announcement to require masking in all K-12 schools and we join his call for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We must ensure we are taking every reasonable measure to make school safe for everyone, especially our students. And as they return to school buildings we must strive to meet our students’ social, emotional, and physical needs with additional nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers to provide supports.

We will continue to update you as we get more information about what we can expect in fall.

Stay safe and enjoy your summer,

President Larry Delaney & Vice President Janie White