So much for some Monday relief. Hazardous air quality in the immediate Tri-City area will continue for some time.

According to forecasters this ridiculous blanket of smoke will not be significantly lifting until FRIDAY.

Kennewick and Richland School Districts have already issued statements regarding how this latest challenge will be handled.

RSD released this email to parents:

Given the poor air quality forecast for Tuesday, Sept. 15, any in-person activities such as supply pick-up at schools will be postponed to limit exposure for students, families and staff. Schools will contact students and families to reschedule those activities.

Residents in Washington state are asked to be aware of current air quality conditions in order to take necessary steps to avoid negative health effects.  Air quality information can be accessed at any time via the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) here.

Another resource is the Washington Smoke blog, a partnership between state, county, and federal agencies, and Indian Tribes. They coordinate to collectively share information for Washington communities affected by wildfire smoke.

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Breathing in wildfire smoke by itself can produce harmful health effects. These range from minor symptoms, such as eye, nose, and throat irritation or headaches, to more severe symptoms like shortness of breath, chest tightness, asthma attacks, and worsening existing chronic conditions.

Some of these respiratory symptoms, including dry cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing, are also common to COVID-19. Early evidence indicates wildfire smoke exposures can make people more susceptible to respiratory infections, likely including COVID-19.

Recent studies indicate that poor air quality can make symptoms and outcomes in people with COVID-19 more severe. Populations sensitive to wildfire smoke exposures include people with heart and lung diseases, people with respiratory infections, people with diabetes, stroke survivors, infants, children, pregnant women, and people over 65 years of age. This link will help you navigate more of these uncharted twin catastrophe waters, smoke/fire and COVID-19.

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