March 9, 2020
While there are no identified or suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in any La Center School District schools, the Clark County Health Department announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Clark County. The confirmed case is a male in his 70s. He has been in isolation, pending test results, and remains in isolation. The health department will release additional information as it becomes available.
The health department is not recommending any changes to the steps the district is already taking to prevent the spread of illness.
We are closely monitoring the evolving situation and in regular communication with state and local health department officials and with other districts in the region. We will rely on public health guidance/recommendations to make the best decisions for the health of students and families.
Steps the district is taking to keep students and staff healthy and safe:
- We are evaluating student and staff participation in events that require travel outside of the district on a daily and case by case basis. In general, the district follows the lead of the host organization, and any additional guidance from public health officials regarding cancellation of events. Parents and guardians always make the final decision on whether their student will attend events outside of our district.
- We are reviewing planned district events through the end of spring break. The district and individual schools will be providing updates on an ongoing basis, so please watch for changes.
- We are creating contingency plans should the situation in Southwest Washington and in our district specifically, dramatically change. We will, of course, keep you informed about any developments. If the COVID-19 illness spreads more broadly, we will follow the guidance and recommendations of public health officials and share this information with staff and families as quickly as possible.
Actions you can take now
Prevent the spread of illness:
- Wash hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not readily available).
Plan for childcare:
- Begin making plans for childcare at home if your child gets sick, or if school is cancelled due to the spread of illness.
- The district will give families as much notice as we can if we are directed to close.
- If the district is directed to close by public health officials, the same process for a snow day will be followed, including closing all district facilities, rescheduling of athletic practices and events, and closure of before/after school programs. The district will work with our staff labor organizations to plan makeup days.
Stay informed through official channels:
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) website and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website are excellent resources for official information and are updated regularly. If you have specific questions, you may call the DOH information line at 1-800-525-0127 and press #. You can also find resources about COVID-19, including how to talk to your kids about the illness at: www.esd112.org/coronavirus-resources.
In the event of a school closure or any changes to our current schedule, we will communicate through our typical channels utilized for inclement weather. For direct information about COVID-19 please access the links for DOH and/or CDC.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter and please feel free to contact myself or Assistant Superintendent, Peter Rosenkanz with additional questions at 360-263-2131.
Dave Holmes, Superintendent
La Center School District