From a March 2, 2020, Snohomish Health District News Release.
We are aware of the Mukilteo School District’s decision to close Mariner High School and Discovery Elementary School today. This is in response to a student who had close contact with the third case of COVID-19 announced Sunday, March 1st.
Those who are close contacts of the presumptive positive case have been contacted by public health staff for further instruction. If you have not been contacted by the Health District, please assume that you are not impacted and that your risk of acquiring COVID-19 is not higher than the general population.
Closing schools when there has not been a confirmed case in a student or staff member is not currently recommended by the Snohomish Health District or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Though this closure is not necessary from a public health point of view, we know that school districts act out of extra special caution when they are protecting children. And the school knows its community best and is in charge of making decisions about the school.
The Snohomish Health District will continue to provide guidance to the Mukilteo School District and will provide any support that we can.
For 80% of cases, COVID-19 is a mild illness that does not require hospital care. We cannot eliminate COVID-19 but we can limit its spread by washing hands with soap and water frequently, avoiding touching our face (mouth, nose, eyes), staying home when sick until the illness is resolved, covering coughs and sneezes with tissue and washing hands thereafter, and staying away from others who are ill.
The health and safety of the people in Snohomish County remains our top priority. We need people to help prevent the spread of illness and to support the response to this outbreak by staying informed and sharing reliable information.
How should people prepare?
- Take many of the same steps to prepare for an outbreak as you would to prepare for other emergencies.
- Make an emergency plan of action with your household members, relatives, and friends.
- Know your workplace’s sick leave policies and whether you can work remotely. We are encouraging employers who can allow telecommuting to do so or make plans to do so.
- Decide who will pick up and watch children if schools or child cares are closed, or if children get sick. Make sure schools and child cares have updated contact information and emergency contacts for your children.
- Have emergency supplies like nonperishable food, water, personal hygiene supplies, and medicine or other medical supplies in an accessible emergency kit – enough to last your household for at least 14 days. Include a list of emergency contacts as well as a list of medical conditions and medications for household members.
- If the disease spreads in your community, public events, school, or other gatherings may be canceled. Please respect these decisions. This is known as social distancing, which helps reduce the spread of illness.
- Set up a separate room in the household for someone who is sick and clean the room regularly. Clean, disposable facemasks may be useful for the individual who is sick, not for the well members of the household.
- Know your neighbors or friends in the area and be ready to support each other during an emergency. Check in on those who live alone or have underlying health conditions and may need extra support. If you live alone, talk to your friends and family members about who would be available to check in on you if you become sick.
The situation with coronavirus is rapidly evolving outside of the United States. Local, state and federal officials are monitoring, investigating, tracking down and isolating any suspected cases. For more information, please visit the Snohomish Health District’s COVID-19 website at www.snohd.org/ncov2019.