Public Health officials are not recommending school closures at this time, but area schools are taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms including standard cleaning procedures, supervised hand washing and telling students to stay home when sick and for how long.
Grays Harbor Public Health adjusted its recommendation on Tuesday to all school districts about when students should stay home from school:
• Students with a fever or cough who have not been around anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 are required to stay at home for 72 hours after their symptoms go away.
• Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 must stay home from school for 7 days or until 72 hours after the fever is gone and symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
• Siblings in households with with confirmed COVID-19 cases must stay home from school for 14 days past last exposure (last date of household member’s fever).
• Parents in households with fever and respiratory illness should monitor their other children’s temperature daily before sending them to school.
Aberdeen Superintendent Alicia Henderson said that the district is taking all the required precautions and that there hasn’t been an increase in absences at this time. The North Beach and Elma districts also reported normal attendance.
“Currently … schools are operating normally,” Henderson said, adding that the district continues to stay in close contact with county health officials.
“This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation that may have significant implications for Washington communities, including schools, in the coming days or weeks, said Dan Winter, Superintendent of Montesano schools.
“We will be in communication with the local and state health departments and will continue to receive guidance,” Winter said.
“We have not had any cases of COVID-19 as of yet, so attendance has not really been affected,” said Steve Holland, Superintendent of Raymond schools on Wednesday.
“We coordinate with the Pacific County Health department on school closure decisions, based on the situation at the time. It is completely situation-dependent, so it’s impossible to say how likely it is we would close,” he said.
“We have hired a temporary custodian whose job it is to disinfect all tables, desks, drinking fountains and door handles every night. In addition, the bus drivers disinfect their busses nightly,” he added.
Cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects like doorknobs and light switches with a fresh solution of one part bleach to nine parts water is part of the standard cleaning procedure that will kill respiratory viruses. Hand washing is supervised before student meals and hand washing reminders and hand sanitizer is being provided to students, according to the Aberdeen School District.
The Washington Department of Health coronavirus webpage is updated with new cases daily: https://www.doh.wa.gov/emergencies/coronavirus
Pacific Co. Emergency Management training
The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Skywarn Weather Observer training classes scheduled for March and April have been indefinitely postponed due to ongoing concerns over Covid-19, the agency announced Wednesday. These trainings will be rescheduled later this year.
NA gathering in Ocean Shores
The Washington N. Idaho Region and Clean and Free won’t be having its March 12-15 gathering in Ocean Shores.
100+ Women Who Care event
(Was set for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at the Hoquiam Elks Lodge)
The organizers said news about the rescheduled event will be spread throughsocial media, emails, personal contacts and The Daily World.
The Hoquiam Library has removed the toys from the children’s area in response to the threat of the coronavirus and is regularly disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, the library announced Wednesday.
The Hoquiam Library has also postponed or cancelled the following programs and events:
• STEAM Wednesdays March 18, March 25
• Teens Create March 12
• Preschool Storytime March 13, March 20, March 27
• Family Movie Day March 14
• Dungeons & Dragons March 17
• Books on 8th March 18
• Pizza & Paperbacks March 19
• March 14: Grays Harbor Hawks Celebrity Basketball Game
• March 14: North Beach Senior Center St. Patrick’s Day Event
• March 19: Grays Harbor Community Hospital Healing Gallery opening
If you know about a local event that’s been canceled or postponed, please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.