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Health centers for students now open at dozens of King County schools

While learning is taking place online in King County, officials are allowing access to student health centers at 34 different schools.

SEATTLE — Learning might be virtual, but 34 health clinics inside King County schools will be open and accessible for students.

Director of Public Health Seattle and King County Patty Hayes said the centers are going to serve as a resource for King County families to access flu shots and coronavirus tests as the school year moves into the fall and winter months.

If a child tests positive for COVID-19, Hayes wants the clinics to be a convenient spot for their family to get tested.

Hayes said the clinics are important for primary and preventative care and added the clinics have been a successful model for identifying stress and mental health needs.

"That can be, in many of these centers, the number one reason why you've come,” said Hayes. “They are feeling very stressed out, they can be having suicidal feelings. They need a place to talk to somebody.”

Experts said the coronavirus pandemic has already had an impact on mental health across the county, and it could get worse in the winter months.

King County School Health said the clinics see nearly 50,000 health care visits annually.

Click here to find a health center location near you.

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