Local schools prepare for possible COVID-19 illnesses

Local schools are alerting staff, students, and the community that they are preparing for the possible spread of the Novel Coronavirus in our region.

In a joint letter from the Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, and Hoquiam school superintendents, they say that each school is in communication with Grays Harbor Public Health & Social Services and should there be an outbreak at one of our schools, each will implement our response in consultation with local health officials.

The South Bend School District also issued a release saying that as an increased precaution, district maintenance staff are taking increased measures in sanitizing classrooms and other spaces within school buildings.  

Currently all local schools are operating on schedule, although each district will respond separately if there is a need in their community.

In the join letter from the central Grays Harbor school districts, they say, “For us, our students are best served at this time by continuing to come to school. We urge parents and guardians to monitor students closely and please do not send your student to school with a fever or any cold symptoms.”

Each school will be monitoring developments and alerting the public if any developments occur.

The schools add that the entire community can reduce the risk of getting and spreading the flu, the common cold, through the steps below, which will also help prevent the new virus, COVID-19:

  • Stay home when you are sick and do not bring your student to school if they do not feel well or have cold or flu-like symptoms (elevated temperature, fever, cough, shortness of breath).  Keep your student home.      
  • Do not come to work at the school if you do not feel well or have cold or flu-like symptoms (elevated temperature, fever, cough, shortness of breath). Stay home.
  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose. Help young children do the same.
  •  If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.·       
  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue, elbow or sleeve instead of your hands. Throw used tissues in a garbage container immediately after use. If you use your hands to cover a sneeze or cough, wash your hands immediately with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, touching your nose or putting your fingers by or in your mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Get a flu shot during the flu season.

The Washington State Department of Health has established a hotline with a live person to address questions from the public. You may call 1-800-525-0127 with any questions. 

Specialized instructions from the local schools will be available on the district websites.