Dear SAGA School Parents and Community Members, 

Thank you for your continued support as SAGA actively monitors information related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) risk and makes decisions on how best to respond. 

Yesterday, King County Public Health authorities issued new guidance aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The full details can be found here: King County Public Health News Blog , March 4, 2020. 

Some important recommendations were issued that schools are taking note of: 
  • If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.
  • Public Health is not recommending closing schools at this time. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, Public Health will work with the school and the district to determine the best measures including potential closure of the school.
  • People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:
    • People 60 and older
    • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
    • People who have weakened immune systems
    • People who are pregnant
These steps are recommended, not required. 

In response to these new guidelines, the SAGA School is postponing the public performance of the Elementary Musical out of concern for the safety of staff, students, and attendees. The performance of "Unter Wasser" scheduled for Friday, March 13th (6:30 - 8:30) is cancelled . We will continue to work on the musical with the elementary students and are exploring live streaming options.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. We will update the community should the situation change. 

King County Public Health is not recommending that schools close unless there is a confirmed case of COVID-19. The reasons for this recommendation include that, so far, children have not been shown to be a high-risk group and in the past, specifically during the 2009/10 H1N1 outbreak, school closures did not have a significant impact on reducing the spread of that virus. 

Student Attendance

We understand that, out of concern for their student's safety, some families are choosing to keep their children home even if they are not ill. If a student self-quarantines or is quarantined at the advice of medical professionals, the student's family should immediately contact the school. As with any illness-related absence, we will work with each individual student and family in support of the student's learning.

What can you do to help keep our SAGA Community safe? 

The most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to follow health best practices as we would for any flu-like disease.

As recommended by the Washington State Department of Health: 
  • If you or your child has cold symptoms or is feeling ill, stay home, avoid public spaces, and call your healthcare provider early on. This virus presents itself like a common cold in the beginning and is highly contagious, so extra precautions are needed
  • Practice good personal health habits: Wash your hands often with soap and water. Take 20 seconds (or sing the A-B-C song slowly) to properly wash your hands 
  • Notify schools or places of employment immediately if you suspect that you, a caretaker, or a family member have been exposed to the virus or have experienced coronavirus symptoms such as mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, AND shortness of breath 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects such as doorknobs and tabletops
  • Get plenty of rest, drink fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress - take care of yourself: this can help you prevent from getting COVID-19 and help you recover from it if you do

The SAGA School staff and janitorial crew continue to take extra precautions around the school to clean more frequently with recommended cleaning solutions, to air out the classrooms more often, and to provide sanitizing solution. 

SAGA will continue to utilize email, text alerts, the SAGA website, and the SAGA Facebook page if we need to communicate urgent news.
It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the COVID-19 virus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, or local governmental organizations should be followed. 

If you have questions for the school, please call the school office at 206-442-2023 or email . An additional resource is a new Washington State call center that can answer questions about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), how it spreads, and what to do if you have symptoms. Call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Thank you for your mindfulness and stay well, 
Anjanette U Gonzales
Head of School

11010 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133
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