February 27, 2020
Dear WHWS Families,
We have been receiving lots of questions about the coronavirus in the office, so I wanted to share some resources and hopefully relieve potential concerns. As you are likely aware, on Tuesday, February 25th, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave a press conference updating the country on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and what steps should be taken moving forward.
As the CDC emphasized, there is
not currently a coronavirus pandemic in the United States
. A pandemic occurs when a disease is spreading from a variety of sources across a large region, and the number of cases across the US is still small. However, given how quickly the global situation is evolving, we are monitoring new developments and will continue to reevaluate our steps and actions daily.
In the meantime, the most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to follow basic health best practices such as:
- Exceptionally good hygiene practices, which includes washing hands thoroughly and often, and covering up coughs/sneezes
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
- Stay home when feeling ill, and do not return until fully recovered
- Contact your physician if you believe that you have been exposed to the coronavirus
We are reviewing our procedures for dealing with ill children. We are planning for hand washing “training” and increasing our vigilance with janitorial practices. In our planning, we are also considering potential infections from spring travel and other non-typical school activities. We will stay as informed as possible, and hope that you are doing the same.
It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Should an outbreak happen in Whatcom County and schools are required to close, we will develop a plan based on the most current information. Any directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, or local governmental organizations will be followed. I’ve included a piece about the outbreak from the New York Times for additional information.
We are grateful for the strength of our community, and the shared commitment to our children. Please continue to look for further communications from us on this matter.