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caption: The empty hallway at Garfield High School in Seattle's Central District.
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The empty hallway at Garfield High School in Seattle's Central District.

School-based health clinics will be open for students this fall

Schools might not be open for in-person learning, but health clinics in their facilities will be, offering both telehealth and in-person services.

Just because students are learning remotely doesn’t mean they won’t have health care needs. Whether they need to come in for immunizations or to seek mental health counseling, school-based clinics will be open for them.

“It’s really important that students have access to this opportunity,” said Sara Rigel, who oversees the program at Public Health Seattle-King County.

School-based clinics have been around since the 1980’s. The idea is to address the health barriers that may prevent students from learning.

“We know very clearly that healthy students learn better and the opportunity to access care in a place that is safe and convenient really makes sense in your school buildings so we can address very quickly those barriers,” Rigel said.

There are 34 clinics altogether throughout King County. Services are free of charge to students though Medicaid or insurance may be billed when available.

Rigel recommends calling ahead for their office hours or to schedule an appointment.