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Coronavirus school closure: Updates and information
Coronavirus school closure: Updates and information
Nick Shanmac
Saturday, March 14, 2020

At Kalama High School, our priority is the health and safety of all students and staff members. We’ve created this news page to ensure you have the latest updates and resources at your fingertips.

Latest updates:

Monday, April 6: All schools across the state of Washington, including those in Kalama, have been closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. This closure, announced by Governor Inslee during a press conference on Monday afternoon (April 6), is part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our region safe and healthy. Click here for more.

Public Health information:

According to Cowlitz County Public Health, those at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People older than 60 years
  • Individuals who have serious chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease
  • People who have weakened immune systems

If you have questions about whether your condition puts you at risk for COVID-19, you should consult your health care provider.

Good hygiene practices:

Following good hygiene practices can prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Here are a few of the actions you can take to stay healthy:

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

COVID-19 facts & resources:

  • The risk of exposure in Southwest Washington remains low.
  • Most people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are adults. There is no evidence that children are more susceptible.
  • Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
  • There is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 and the best prevention is to avoid being exposed to the virus in the first place.
  • Official sources of information are the best way to stay grounded in fact. The Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control are great resources.
  • Good hygiene is your best protection against COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the closure last?

The Governor's most recent declaration requires that schools in Washington stay closed through the remainder of the school year.

Why are schools closed?

There are multiple factors that led to the Governor's decision to close all schools across the state:

  1. The number of cases across the state is rapidly expanding.
  2. Health officials can no longer map the contacts of infected individuals reliably.
  3. School districts within the region are experiencing unparalleled student absences.
  4. Many districts are having trouble staffing their schools due to staff absences.

Why are KSD schools closed if there are a limited number of cases in Cowlitz County?

Public health experts agree that this is the best time to do a statewide closure to allow Washington to reduce the spread of cases.

Will this closure have an impact on student testing?

OSPI has decided that all state testing will be canceled for the 2019–20 school year.

How will families be notified about additional information?

The district will send emails to families through our automated notification system. Additional announcements will be posted on the district's homepage (as well as individual school pages) and on our social media pages.

Make sure you stay informed by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

If you have symptoms, contact your health care provider. Additionally, the Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.