Update Number 2: Regarding COVID-19

Dear Corbett School District parents and guardians,

We have received questions or concerns from our community about news of the novel coronavirus (respiratory illness) called COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that had not been seen in humans before.

Oregon announced its first presumptive case of COVID-19, on February 28, 2020. The patient was an adult who spent time in a school in the Lake Oswego school district and may have exposed students and staff at the school. The individual has been isolated and is being cared for at a local hospital. OHA epidemiologists are working closely with public health investigators at Washington County Department of Health and Human Services to identify close contacts of the case.

The health department proactively contacts household members of cases of COVID-19 and will request that they self-isolate, meaning not attend school or work, for 14 days after their last contact with the infectious person. In the event that a classroom of individuals is exposed to a student, teacher, or other staff with confirmed COVID-19, Multnomah County Health Department will likely exclude the entire classroom for 14 days after the last exposure. 

The district is closely monitoring this situation and is in frequent contact with public health authorities. Public health officials advise parents to keep students home if they display any signs of illness. Health officials also support schools in sending home or keeping home students and staff members who appear unwell, consistent with the tri-county standard exclusion guidelines. 

Tri-County Exclusion Guidelines: https://www.co.washington.or.us/HHS/CommunicableDiseases/upload/Disease_Exclusion_Guide_Updated-July-2017-1.pdf 

The internal team actively reviewing coronavirus developments includes the Superintendent, our principals, and staff from Communications, Emergency Management, Student Health, and Facilities. We will continue to work with the health department to determine when and if any additional measures, including decisions about cleaning, school closures, and social distancing  need to be taken. 

You can help yourself and your student(s) to reduce their risk for getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the flu and the common cold, by encouraging them to take simple steps which will also prevent COVID-19:

·         Wash your hands often with warm water and soap.

·         Cover your mouth with a tissue, sleeve, or elbow (not hands) when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands.

·         If you or someone in your  household is sick, stay home and follow the guidance of your healthcare provider. 

·         Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and regular exercise, and by taking care of underlying health conditions.

There are also basic steps every household should take to prepare for any unexpected event: 

·         Learn about your employer’s sick leave and telecommuting policies.

·         Establish a childcare plan in the event your kids need to stay home from school.

·         Make sure you have the kinds of foods, drinks, medications and pet supplies you would want if you needed to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple weeks.

·         Get to know your neighbors, especially those who might need extra help like seniors or people living alone.

·         In the face of rumors check  multco.us/covid19  for reliable information.

More information and ongoing updates from public health officials are available online, including:

·         Multnomah County Health

·          Department: https://multco.us/health-officer/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

·         Oregon Health Authority (OHA): https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx

·         Centers for Disease Control      (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

·         Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Communicable Disease Guidance: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Documents/commdisease.pdf

If you have school-related questions or concerns about COVID-19 please contact our school district nurse Julie Nakamura at jnakamura@mesd.k12.or.us or 503-261-4258.