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Coronavirus In Seattle
caption: Aki Kurose Middle School on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
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Aki Kurose Middle School on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
Credit: Jeremy Paley

2 Seattle schools closed amid district's first confirmed COVID-19 case

Aki Kurose will be closed indefinitely beginning Wednesday, March 11 after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

Cleveland STEM High School will also close March 11 for one day of cleaning due to a possible coronavirus exposure.

The COVID-19 case at Aki Kurose is the first confirmed in Seattle Public Schools. The district is not identifying the staff member's position at the school.

District officials said they are working with public health officials to determine a date for reopening. The school is slated to be sprayed down with disinfecting agent and all surfaces are to be cleaned by the district's facility operations department.

The school, which is located in the Brighton neighborhood of south Seattle, will still distribute meals to students who receive free or reduced lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the closure. Food can be picked up on the north driveway of the school's campus, between the school building and Brighton Playfield.

Aki Kurose and Cleveland are the first schools in the district to close since the coronavirus outbreak began. Many other districts have closed schools due to confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

Franklin High School, Mercer Middle School and Rainier Beach High School will get disinfected Wednesday night due to possible coronavirus exposures.

Many families have criticized Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau for not closing schools earlier. Some wonder if Governor Jay Inslee will make the decision for Juneau within days, given the rapid spread of the coronavirus in King County.

State and local health departments have not recommended closing schools unless there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the school, however.