Dear families, 

Earlier today, we participated in a conference call with the County of Marin Department of Health and Human Services (Marin HHS) and the Marin County Office of Education (MCOE). These agencies are in the process of developing county-wide policies for school closures, as well as community mitigation measures to contain and slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the call, Marin HHS published this press release with the most up to date information available. Both Marin HHS and MCOE are making every effort to align policies and procedures with surrounding counties for the purpose of consistency and clarity. As a reminder, there will be a Community Forum on Monday, March 9 from 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the MCOE, 1111 Las Gallinas Avenue, San Rafael. This forum is being hosted by MCOE, Marin HHS, and Kaiser Permanente and will also be available through Facebook live streaming.

School Closures
While we hope never to have to close school due to communicable illness, we are making contingency plans in the event that our community is directly impacted by COVID-19. The determination to close school will be made in conjunction with Marin HHS, who will partner closely with us to inform decision making, including timing and duration. In the case of school closure, we will notify families through the emergency systems we have in place with Blackboard Connect, including text messaging, email, and phone. 

Community Mitigation Efforts  
Public health officials emphasized the importance of containing and slowing the spread of COVID-19 at this time. The following guidelines were reiterated:
  • Staying home when sick
  • Practicing proper hand washing
  • Social distancing

For more recommendations about prevention and community mitigation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), visit this CDC webpage .

Travel
With spring break just a month away, some members of our community may have plans to travel domestically and internationally. As of March 6, the CDC has designated a high Risk Assessment Level for South Korea, Italy, Iran and China. There are currently no other restrictions or recommendations against other international or domestic travel, but we understand that this may change. To help as you prepare to make decisions about your travel plans, visit the CDC's Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel webpage . This includes a global interactive risk assessment map, country-specific travel health information about COVID-19, and detailed information regarding Risk Assessment Level designations issued for countries around the world. We urge you to stay informed of this rapidly changing situation by checking the CDC website often.
 
Returning to MP&MS After Travel
We ask that upon returning from any location, you exercise caution, observe the travel precautions and protocols issued by the CDC , and consider the following:
  • Have I traveled to or from a destination to which the CDC has assigned a Risk Assessment Level, either before, during, or after my trip?
  • Have I been in close contact with anyone who has recently traveled to or from a destination to which the CDC has assigned a Risk Assessment Level?
  • Am I, or is someone in my household, exhibiting symptoms — such as fever, shortness of breath and/or coughing — that could indicate infection and should I seek advice from a medical professional?

If the answer to any of these is yes, we ask that you contact Marin HHS at covid-19@marincounty.org or 415-473-4163. They will partner with you, your family, and our school to develop the best course of action. 
 
Resources and Support
Marin HHS and MCOE are increasing communications during this period of time. For up to date information from these agencies, visit their dedicated web pages at:

Marin HHS has also set up a hotline for community members, which is being staffed by public health officers and nurses. To reach this hotline between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., call 415-473-4163. You can also reach them directly by email at  covid-19@marincounty.org. In addition, visit the County of Marin Twitter and Facebook pages. 

We recognize that the unfolding events may be causing fear and anxiety in students. If your child is experiencing distress over the situation, school counselor Kate Brubaker is available as a resource.

The following resources are provided by the National Association of School Psychologists and The Child Mind Institute. In addition, a link is included to a New York Times article specifically discussing how to address the topic with children.
 
We will continue to exercise an abundance of caution and will be in touch with you regularly as this situation unfolds. In uncertain times, the connections we have within this close knit community are more valuable than ever. 

Thank you for your partnership and take care, 

Andrew