Return to Headlines

Public Health Update: Travel Guidance Concerning the Coronavirus

Update on February 4, 2020:

 

Since the information we shared earlier (January 31, added below) regarding the coronavirus, Public Health of Seattle and King County has notified school districts of updated information related to travel from China.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that all travelers from China (including school students, staff and volunteers) arriving in the U.S. AFTER February 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. stay at home away from others and monitor their health for 14 days.

 

There is no recommendation for persons without symptoms arriving before this time to restrict their activities. All travelers from China arriving BEFORE February 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. can continue to attend school and should take the following steps:

  • Watch for any changes in your health for 14 days after leaving China.
  • If you get a fever or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during this 14-day period, avoid contact with others. Call your doctor or healthcare provider to tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel.

In related news on February 4, the Washington State Department of Health announced new federal measures being implemented for recent travelers from China: Washington State Stands Ready to Isolate and Quarantine Travelers from China, which families may have seen in local media reports that evening. The City of North Bend has also confirmed information about a site that the federal government has selected east of North Bend for a quarantine facility, if needed. 

 

While the immediate risk to the general public in Washington and the U.S. is still considered to be low, please keep in mind the precautions that help prevent the spread of cold and flu infections also apply to the coronavirus:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer if water is not available.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with those who are sick.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezing with tissue, then throw tissue in garbage, and immediately wash hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

As new information emerges, sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading.  Please refer to these reliable resources and health authorities for more information:

Our school district continues to follow guidance provided by Public Health, and will provide updates as directed by health officials.

 

__________________________

Update posted January 31, 2020

 

Coronavirus in the News - Cold and Flu Season - When to Keep Your Child Home

 

As you likely know from extensive media coverage, Washington State has one confirmed case the coronavirus, which has been monitored since January 21, 2020. At this time, Washington State Public Health has reported they have no evidence that the illness is spreading in our state and considers it a low risk to the general public. Even so, we know this news is troubling for many families and staff as this health concern is evolving.   

 

For our schools, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is generally the lead agency in health crisis situations. If any response is needed, the DOH provides that direction to school districts. Please know that our nursing staff works to monitor student health and DOH updates, and if any additional directives come from Public Health, the district will immediately follow those guidelines and notify parents accordingly.

 

In the meantime, there are steps we should all take to protect ourselves and others. According to Public Health, the following steps prevent the spread and reduce the risk of getting any respiratory viral infections – including the flu, the common cold, and the coronavirus:  

  • Wash hands often with water and soap.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

Respectfully, if your child is sick, please keep them at home – to prevent others from being exposed to their illness.  If you're not sure whether or not to keep your child home, please click here for guidance on symptoms that warrant a student remaining at home. If you have any health concerns or questions, please contact your health care provider, or refer to the resources below for the most up-to-date information.   

 

Reliable resources for health information regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus: