School District Message Updates

  • Below are dated messages sent by Shoreline Schools to families and staff:

    March 18, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Schools Families,

    I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic together. This is a difficult and scary time as we continue to hear sad and alarming news from our region and around the world regarding COVID-19. The hardships many in our community are experiencing due to school and business closures create additional anxiety.

    I know that people seek certainty during times of uncertainty and, unfortunately, that is a challenge to provide on some topics at this time. Having said that, I wanted to provide you with several updates below. 

    Food and Childcare Support

    As a school district, we are moving forward with two of the primary priorities of the state: providing food and nutrition to children 18 and under and providing childcare that prioritizes the needs of healthcare workers and first responders.

    We have been underway with food services at two sites since Thursday, March 12 and are looking to expand into more sites next week. Additionally, we are hoping to begin to provide childcare in the very near future with prioritization to those families who need child care to continue their service in the healthcare fields and as first responders. During this national emergency, we want to do what we can to support the continuation of those services. 

    Learning Options

    Like all of you, I look forward to receiving clarity about learning options for students. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is in the process of developing a statewide framework for learning. They have assured me that this guidance will be available to school districts on Monday, March 23. OSPI is working with the U.S. Department of Education to make sure that any models that are developed are sustainable and compliant with all federal guidelines. I have offered the support of our district administrators to help OSPI with this work in any way that we can. 

    While administrative staff in our district are currently prepared to move quickly to meet the expectations that are laid out in guidance from OSPI, we are waiting for that guidance to proceed with extended learning opportunities for students. 

    Graduation Requirements

    OSPI is also currently working with the State Board of Education regarding graduation requirements. They will provide those guidelines to us as soon as they are available and we will then move forward with responding to the needs of our high school seniors.

    My thoughts are with all of you during this challenging time. 

    Sincerely,
    Rebecca Miner
    Superintendent


    March 18, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Families of Students in Special Education,

    In this unprecedented time, we want you to know that we care for you and hope you and your families are safe. This letter is to provide you with an update of our planning for special education students, recognizing information is changing rapidly and guidance is continuing to evolve.

    We recognize the significant impact this extended closure will have on our entire community, students, families, and staff. Closing Shoreline Public Schools for a minimum of six weeks mid-year is unprecedented. There remain many unanswered questions that we are quickly working to address and we will continue to communicate as we have answers. At this time, we are prioritizing the health and safety of your students and our community.

    What we can say with certainty is that we care deeply about your student(s) and recognize families of students receiving special education services will be uniquely impacted by these closures. We are considering our families in all response planning and will continue to make decisions with your student(s) and family in mind.  

    Special Education staff are working diligently to provide updates to our teachers and our families, and are in regular contact with other districts, and state and federal organizations. As we learn more, we commit to continued regular communication with you on the decisions and guidance that impact your student. 

    You can find additional updated information at the district webpage here: https://www.shorelineschools.org/Domain/1960

    Sincerely,

    Amy Vujovich, Director of Student Services

    Scott Irwin, Director of Secondary Student Services

    Hillery Clark, Director of Early Learning


    March 17, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Schools Families and Staff,

    In order to provide support for immediate needs in the areas of food and childcare supports, we are assessing our families’ and staff members’ needs in these areas. Please take a moment to complete the short food and childcare needs surveys linked below as soon as possible. Each survey is available in English and Spanish.

    Childcare Needs Survey:

    English - https://forms.gle/wnZWoDYWNFxnHFyR9

    Spanish - https://forms.gle/L7QrLZ49916u6dSd8

    Food Needs Survey:

    English - https://forms.gle/ZmzXZqvQt6qSF6Uc8

    Spanish - https://forms.gle/mYo8KjcYxoYjb7ja9

    We are continuing to work with state officials on receiving guidance related to many of the questions that have been raised in the wake of extended school closures statewide. We will share this additional information once it becomes available.

    Additionally, we want to remind you of the current food supports being offered in our community.

    Daily Student Meal Packs:

    School District meals will be provided to all students 18 and under for FREE each weekday.
    Meals can be picked up at Shoreline Schools Central Kitchen (located inside Hamlin Park off 15th Ave. NE, directions HERE) and Shorewood High School (17300 Fremont Ave. N.) each weekday from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. *Students must be present to receive meals*

    Students will receive their choice of a hot or cold lunch and a breakfast pack for the following day. Each day's menu will be posted on the Food and Nutrition Services webpage that morning.

    Other Food Items & Grocery/Gas Cards:

    The Shoreline PTA Council is coordinating the distribution of grocery/gas gift cards and shelf-stable food (e.g. rice, beans, pasta, peanut butter, cereal, granola bars, canned vegetables or fruit).

    These items are provided by community donations and can be picked up at Central Kitchen (located inside Hamlin Park off 15th Ave. NE, directions HERE) on March 17, 19, 24 and 26 from 11:30 am-12:30 pm.

    Can't get to a food pick-up site and need food delivered? You can make a request for delivery through Shoreline PTA Council using this form. A Spanish version of the form is available here.

    Little Free Pantries:

    Give what you can, take what you need! Neighbors helping neighbors.

    • Little Free Pantry Ridgecrest: 15815 11th Ave NE
    • Little Free Pantry Meridian Park: 18312 Corliss Ave N.
    • Little Free Shed: 14544 Evanston Ave. N.
    • Mountlake Terrace Little Free Pantry: On 56th Ave. West across from Calvary Fellowship Church

    Food Bank:

    Hopelink Food Bank (pre-packaged food items)
    17837 Aurora Ave. N.
    206-393-7300
    Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:00-4:00 pm
    Wednesdays 3:00-7:30 pm (closed on Fridays)

    Are you able to lend support?

    Shoreline PTA Council is collecting donations of $25 grocery store or gas gift cards. Also accepted are shelf-stable food items (e.g. rice, beans, pasta, peanut butter, cereal, granola bars and canned vegetables or fruit).

    Donations can be dropped off at Shoreline Schools Central Kitchen (located inside Hamlin Park off 15th Ave. NE, directions HERE) from 9:00-11:00 am on March 19, 24 and 26, or drop off food donations at one of the Little Free Pantries listed above.


    March 11, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Schools Families and Staff,

    I know that the past two weeks have been stressful for many in our community because of the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. I am grateful to all of our staff and families for navigating this situation with our school district.

    Up to this point, we have followed the guidance of our medical experts at our local and state health departments in our approach to responding to the community health crisis. As this situation changes by the hour, it has become clear that we cannot continue to address this issue with isolated, short-term closure of our schools. At this time, we can no longer maintain staffing levels required to continue school operations across the district.

    Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 12, all schools in Shoreline Public Schools will be closed through at least March 27. This includes the cancellation of all out-of-district transportation and athletic practices and competitions. All school offices will be open tomorrow, Thursday, March 12, to allow for parents, students and staff to be able to retrieve medication and other essential personal items that they need to have with them while schools are closed. Beginning Friday, all staff access to the schools will be limited to administrators and maintenance/operations staff.

    We expect to receive further guidance from state officials regarding this decision in the coming days and will provide an update as soon as we are able.

    I want to assure you that this is not a decision I have made lightly or without considerable thought and consideration. As a superintendent, I regularly make challenging decisions and this has been the most difficult in my career. I recognize and understand the impact this will have on our families, particularly those who are most vulnerable. We will be offering food service for students at Central Kitchen (located inside Hamlin Park off of 15th Ave. NE, directions HERE) and Shorewood High School (17300 Fremont Ave. N.) from 11:30-12:30 each weekday.

    Additionally, we are working on plans to determine what childcare options we may be able to offer. We will be sharing more information about that as soon as plans and details are finalized.

    Additional information will be coming to staff and families in the coming days and I appreciate your attention to our communications. We will share this information via email, as well as posting on our website and social media channels.

    Sincerely,
    Rebecca Miner
    Superintendent


     

    March 10, 2020

    We are writing to you tonight with some important information regarding a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure at Shorecrest High School. Superintendent Miner was notified this evening that a Shorecrest staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

    While health privacy laws protect the identity of the staff member, we can share that the staff member has not been at work since Thursday, March 5. Based on consultation and guidance provided by Public Health, any staff and students who are determined to have been in close contact with the staff member while the staff member exhibited symptoms will be notified and provided guidance.

    Shorecrest will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11 to allow for a deep cleaning of the school. Shorecrest will reopen on Thursday, March 12. Shorecrest athletic practices and after-school activities are also canceled. All other schools will be open and operating normally. If there is any change to this, we will make another announcement.

    You can find more information and resources regarding COVID-19 at the links below:


    March 8, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Schools Families and Staff:

    As we begin our week together, I want to take some time today to share some updates regarding the Shoreline School District response to the novel coronavirus, how you can keep informed, and how you can get additional information.  I know that this is a time of concern and uncertainty for many, so I also want to share a few resources that you can access.

    Each day, a group of staff in our District are meeting to address new questions that have emerged, review current guidance from Public Health – Seattle & King County, update our frequently asked questions, and review our current response.  In addition, I have been in contact with both municipal and school district leaders from around the region as well as representatives from Public Health – Seattle & King County. Please know that I, and others in the District, are monitoring this situation very carefully and on an ongoing basis. 

    There are several things you can do if you have questions or feedback:

    • If you have questions or feedback about our system’s response to the novel coronavirus, I encourage you to email public.info@shorelineschools.org.
    • If you have questions about the novel coronavirus or your family’s individual situation, I encourage you to reach out to the hotline we have established.  You can either call 206-393-4687 or email coronavirus.questions@shorelineschools.org.  Our goal is to reply to those communications within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. 
    • Staff who have questions about their individual situations are encouraged to reach out to the Human Resources Department.
    • You can find additional information at www.shorelineschools.org/coronavirus

    I hope you will continue to read the email updates we are sending as well as check our updated frequently asked questions, which provides answers to many of the questions you may have. I know that there is a lot of communication being sent to you at this time and I am grateful to you for reading it in order to stay informed. 

    I understand the anxiety that news and developments related to COVID-19 can cause in children. The following link is a great resource from the National Association of School Psychologists to use in having discussions with children: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource.  I know our staff members are working hard each day to maintain routines in our schools as normalcy and routine can be a great source of reassurance to children.

    I would also like to encourage families to reach out to their school’s family advocate if you are in need of additional supports at this time.   We are partnering with community groups and agencies to develop plans for support.

    I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of our Shoreline staff members, families and students. This is an extraordinary community and I continue to see examples of generosity, empathy, support and care for each other every day.

    Thank you,

    Rebecca Miner
    Superintendent 


    March 6, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Families and Staff:

    We are writing to you tonight with some important information regarding a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure at Echo Lake Elementary. Public Health-Seattle & King County (Public Health) notified Superintendent Rebecca Miner this evening that an Echo Lake parent has a confirmed case of COVID-19. While health privacy laws protect the identity of the parent, we can share that this parent visited the school on Tuesday, March 3 for parent-teacher conferences. The parent attended conferences with two teachers who have been notified. Due to the same health privacy laws, we cannot identify those teachers. We have been in communication with the affected teachers who have been asked to stay home and monitor their health for the next 14 days as recommended by Public Health.

    As part of its cleaning schedule, Echo Lake experienced a deep cleaning on the evening of March 3, however given the latest information, Echo Lake will be closed on Monday, March 9 to allow for an additional deep cleaning.  

    This parent also briefly entered the Edwin Pratt Early Learning Center on Tuesday, March 3 during pick-up and drop-off. It does not appear that the parent had any close contact with anyone at Edwin Pratt during that time. As part of its cleaning schedule, Edwin Pratt experienced a deep cleaning this evening and will be open and on its regular schedule on Monday.

    All schools besides Echo Lake will be open on their regular schedules on Monday.

    We will be working throughout the weekend to collect additional information and will provide an update regarding the status of the situation as soon as we are able.

    You can find more information and resources regarding COVID-19 at the links below:


    March 4, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Schools Families and Staff,

    Based on updated recommendations provided by Public Health-Seattle & King County this afternoon, we are sharing additional important information with you.  

    The updated guidance recommends canceling or postponing large community events to help limit the spread of the virus. Based on their guidance, after-school and evening events open to the community on our school properties are postponed until further notice. This includes activities such as school concerts, PTA events and outside rentals of our facilities.   

    Normal school day operations are not impacted at this time. Our schools will continue to operate on a normal schedule as recommended by Public Health-Seattle & King County. We currently do not have any confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases or exposures within our schools, and state and local health officials recommend we continue to keep our schools open. 

    They also recommend that 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 those that meet any of the following characteristics:

    • 60 and older
    • have underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
    • have weakened immune systems
    • are pregnant

    You can see Public Health-Seattle & King County’s updated recommendations HERE

    We are continuing to monitor this situation and receive guidance from health officials on appropriate steps we should take. If there are any further changes to our school schedule or operations, we will contact you through our emergency notification procedures.

    We recognize that parents/guardians are always in the best position to make decisions regarding the health of their children and families. If your child is sick for any reason, please keep them home and contact your healthcare provider if necessary. If your child is not sick, but you are fearful that they may become sick, you can also excuse your child from school. In either case, please follow your school’s normal procedure for notifying the office that your child will not be at school.

     


    March 2, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Schools Families,

    We are writing to provide some additional frequently asked questions regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We have received a number of questions over the past few days and want to share some of the more frequent ones we have received. You can refer to our previous communications posted below for additional information.

    At this time, Public Health Seattle-King County has not notified us that any Shoreline students or staff have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, but we know that this can quickly change as more cases are tested around our region.

    Frequently Asked Questions from Families:

    My child is sick or I am fearful of my child getting sick. How do I excuse their absence/s?

    We recognize that parents/guardians are always in the best position to make decisions regarding the health of your children. If your child is sick for any reason, please keep them home and contact your healthcare provider if necessary. If your child is not sick, but you are fearful that they may become sick, you can also excuse your child from school. In either case, please follow your school’s normal procedure for notifying the office that your child will not be at school.

    Can you answer a specific question about the health of my child and the potential impacts of this virus?

    School staff members should not give medical advice. You should contact your medical provider for health-related questions.

    What are the schools doing to keep their learning environments healthy?

    Great care and effort is being taken toward initiating proactive measures aimed at reducing the risks associated with spread of the virus. Trained custodial teams are working diligently to carry out the following tasks in all of our schools and facilities:

    Disinfect touchpoints:

    • Door handles, push bars and push plates everywhere
    • Classroom door windows
    • Classroom sinks and faucet handles, counters
    • Classroom tables/chairs
    • Elevator push buttons 
    • Water fountains/bottle filling stations

    Special emphasis has been placed on touchpoints in our restrooms, in addition to our normal thorough cleaning:

    • Restroom doors, handles and push plates
    • Handrails
    • Toilet and urinal handles
    • Sanitary napkin dispensers
    • Sink and faucet handles
    • Toilet paper, soap, and paper towel dispensers and handles

    Are students being encouraged to wash their hands?

    Yes, staff are reminding students of the importance of handwashing and how to do so effectively.

    Are there plans or processes in place for online learning if school closures are required?

    We are continuing to explore the feasibility of providing access to online learning in an equitable way.

    If I have a question or comment about Shoreline Public Schools response or plans to address the impacts of this virus, who can I ask?

    For questions from families relating to our school district’s plans, communications or responses to the impacts of the virus, please contact our Public Information Office at 206-393-4412 or public.info@shorelineschools.org.

    We are also in the process of establishing a phone and email hotline where families can get guidance from a district nurse regarding questions on student attendance specific to their family situations or considerations, along with a section of our website that will house additional resources and information. We will share links, email addresses and phone numbers for those once they are finalized.


    March 1, 2020

    Dear Shoreline Schools Families and Staff,

    We are writing to provide an update on recent developments regarding the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in our region and specifically how it affects Shoreline Public Schools’ students, staff and families.

    We have been following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington State Department of Health and Public Health Seattle-King County. Two of the three Shoreline Schools staff members who were asked to stay home and monitor their health last week will return to work on Monday; they are not symptomatic and the individual they were exposed to has tested negative for the virus.  The staff member who was asked to stay home because of their travel to Southeast Asia still has no symptoms but will continue to stay home until the 14-day period has ended. That individual did not come to school following break, and has not been on any Shoreline Public Schools property since returning from the trip.

    At this time, Public Health Seattle-King County has not notified us that any Shoreline students or staff have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, but we know that this can quickly change as more cases are tested around our region.

    We want to reiterate that while COVID-19 started in China, having Chinese ancestry – or any other ancestry – does not place a person at higher risk for this illness. You can help keep our schools safe for everyone by sharing accurate information with your children and fellow community members. If your child is being bullied, harassed or excluded, please report it immediately to a teacher, counselor, or your school principal. You can find additional resources for responding to stigma at: kingcounty.gov/ncov/anti-stigma

    We know that this situation can raise anxiety and fears. Knowing that this can be a difficult topic to talk with your children about, here is a link to a communication tool created by National Public Radio (NPR). We hope that it can be helpful to you as you talk with your children about this evolving situation.

    At this time, all of our schools will remain open.  Should that change, we will update you through our normal emergency closure processes.  If a case of COVID-19 is found in our school district, we will follow direction from public health officials, which may include closing schools and canceling activities and sporting events. 

    The safety, health and well-being of our students, staff and families are always our top priorities. Below are answers to some questions you may have as well as some guidance for you to consider. This information is provided by the Washington State Department of Health and Public Health Seattle-King County. 

    What can I do now?

     We encourage you to have plans in place, especially for those with younger children, in the event that school closures are recommended. Actions to take include:

    • Finding alternative childcare arrangements for your children in case of school closure.
    • Talking to your neighbors and other parents in your child’s school about sharing childcare duties if your children are well but the school is closed.
    • Talking to your employer about policies for working from home or shifting work schedules or responsibilities if schools are dismissed or you become sick.

    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to flu or colds and may include:

    • Fever
    • Runny nose
    • Headache
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • A general feeling of being unwell

    How severe is COVID-19?

    Most COVID-19 illnesses are mild with fever and cough. The vast majority of people with novel coronavirus infection do not require hospital care. A much smaller percentage of people get severely ill with respiratory problems like pneumonia. Elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions are at highest risk.

    How is COVID-19 spread?

    Human coronaviruses, including COVID-19, most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

    • The air by coughing and sneezing
    • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
    • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
    • Rarely, fecal contamination with coronavirus present

    When should I seek medical evaluation or advice?

    If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first. Do not go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.

    If you have difficulty breathing, it doesn't mean you have COVID-19, but you should call 9-1-1.

    If you're over 60 and you have underlying conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease. Come up with a plan with your doctor to identify your health risks for COVID-19 and how to manage symptoms. Contact your doctor right away if you do have symptoms.

    How can I protect myself and family from getting sick?

    There are steps people should take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. These include:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
    • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
    • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

    What can I do to help?

    While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:

    • The news of this disease outbreak is concerning to all of us, but especially impacts communities who have family or other close connections in China or the greater Asian continent. We should all do our part not to make assumptions by discriminating, spreading misinformation, or harassing individuals, families and communities that have made Washington their home. Just because a disease originates within a certain area of the world does not mean that every person who has an association with that country is ill or has the potential to contract the virus.
    • It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and health officials recommend getting a flu vaccine if you haven’t done so yet, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs (staying away from others when sick, washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, mouth or eyes), and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
    • If you are a healthcare provider, be on the look-out for people who recently traveled from China with fever and respiratory symptoms.
    • If you are a healthcare provider caring for a novel coronavirus patient, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures. 

    Where can I find more information about coronavirus?

    This guidance is likely to change as this situation evolves, so please know we are committed to providing you with timely updates and guidance aligned with the best recommendations and guidance from our public health authorities. As additional information, relevant to Shoreline Public Schools, becomes available, we will share that with you. 

    If families have questions or comments about our school district response, please contact our Public Information Office at 206.393.4412. Staff may contact the Human Resources Department at 206.393.4772.

     


     

    Previous post:

    February 26, 2020

    State and national health officials are issuing reports predicting that the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, will eventually spread in the United States and to begin planning and taking precautions to help slow its spread and keep our communities healthy. Novel coronavirus is a new virus that was discovered in Wuhan, China in late December. Below is information about the virus, what our schools are doing to maintain healthy learning environments and what you can do to help keep your family healthy. 

    Please know that although COVID-19 started in China, having Chinese ancestry – or any other ancestry – does not place a person at higher risk for this illness. You can help keep our schools safe for everyone by sharing accurate information with your children and fellow community members.

    While it’s natural to feel some anxiety when hearing these reports, you can take comfort in knowing that at this time, the risk to the general public is low. There are currently no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Shoreline or King County. There has only been one confirmed case in Washington, a man in the Everett area who has since made a full recovery.

    While the risk to our community and schools is low at this point, we are in regular communication with local public health officials who are tracking COVID-19 carefully and making plans should it present a more significant threat to the health of our community. We are also utilizing daily classroom disinfecting procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. This includes using recommended disinfectants to wipe down common frequent contact areas on a daily basis, such as desks, door knobs, phone handsets, etc.

    Should the situation or threat of the virus change, we will update you on any changes to our processes or practices.

    Below are some frequently asked questions regarding novel coronavirus and what you can do to help keep your family healthy. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your school’s principal or nurse. 

    What is a coronavirus?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Some coronaviruses have caused more severe illness, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Since 2019 novel coronavirus is new, we are still learning about the way it spreads, how effectively it spreads, and how severe it is.

    Who is at risk for novel coronavirus?

    At this time, the general public in Washington is not considered at risk for novel coronavirus. A person is only at increased risk if they:

    1. a) traveled to China in the past 14 days or
    2. b) had close contact with someone with a lab-confirmed novel coronavirus infection.

    Being at risk for coronavirus does not mean a person has a coronavirus infection. It simply means they are being asked to monitor their health and stay at home for 14 days. If you traveled to China in the past 14 days or had close contact with someone with a lab-confirmed novel coronavirus infection, please contact your school’s nurse or principal for guidance.

    People are NOT at risk because of their race, nationality, or ethnicity. People also are not considered at risk if they live or spend time with someone who recently traveled to China and doesn’t have symptoms. 

    What can I do to protect my family’s health?

    It’s cold and flu season, and you can take simple steps to prevent illness. Building healthy habits will also help protect you if we have local coronavirus cases in the future.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands.
    • Limit contact with people who are actively sick with coughing, sneezing and other symptoms.
    • Stay home from school and work when sick. If your child has a fever of 100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer, they should not come to school. They can return to school when they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine. 

    Should my family wear face masks?

    At this time, health officials are not recommending that people wear masks in public to protect themselves from coronavirus. That’s because the risk in Washington is low. Also, face masks may not protect healthy people from getting sick. However, people may choose to wear masks for a variety of purposes, including to avoid air pollution and for cultural and social reasons. We should not assume someone is sick simply because they are wearing a mask.

    Can my family continue with our normal activities?
    Yes! As long as you are not ill, we encourage you and your children to attend school, work, and all extracurricular activities. We also encourage you to eat at restaurants, shop at local businesses, socialize with friends, and participate in community events without restriction.

    My child’s classmate lives with a person who recently traveled to China. Should I be worried that my child is at risk for infection?

    No. Your child’s classmate is not considered at risk for novel coronavirus, and neither is your child. That’s because people who are in contact with non-ill recent travelers to China are not at an elevated risk.

    Additionally, it’s important not to make assumptions about the health of your fellow community members. Our local and state health departments are working together to identify, monitor, test, and when necessary, isolate people at risk for coronavirus. 

    What should I do if I think my child is the target of stigma?

    If your child is being bullied, harassed or excluded, please report it immediately to a teacher, counselor, or your school principal. You can find additional resources for responding to stigma at: kingcounty.gov/ncov/anti-stigma

    Where can I find more information about coronavirus?