DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH CENTERS WILL BE OPEN AT 34 SCHOOLS THIS FALL


The school-based health center at Rainier Beach High School. Keith Seinfeld

Even though most schools are starting with online learning this fall, more than 30 campuses will be open for in-person health-care services. They have School-Based Health Centers that offer routine primary care, including vaccinations, as well as mental health counseling. Several even have dental services. Seasonal flu vaccine will also be available. The health centers serve any student enrolled in the participating school districts. They operate at 27 Seattle Public Schools, including all high schools and middle schools, along with a number of elementary schools. Five additional centers serve students in the Bellevue, Highline, Renton, and Vashon school districts. The centers are independent clinics based inside schools or on school campuses, staffed by health professionals. Two new centers will be opening this fall, at Lowell Elementary and at Nova High School in Seattle. “The need for basic health-care hasn’t gone away just because students are learning from home. In fact, many families may be struggling to get health-care access, and they may have fallen behind on routine vaccinations, which protect against many common childhood diseases. Routine vaccines and seasonal influenza vaccine are more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re grateful our partners are committed to maintaining access to these health centers,” said Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health—Seattle & King County. Public Health coordinates the network of 34 clinics, and directly operates three locations. All the others staffed and operated by community health-care providers, which compete through a Request for Application process to provide health services.