Posted: March 9, 2020

Dear Camas Community,

While there are no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) associated with any Camas School District schools, the Clark County Health Department announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Clark County over the weekend. 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 we are 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 the cancelation of events. Parents and guardians always make the final decision on whether their students will attend events outside of our district. 
  • We are reviewing planned district events through the end of spring break. We have a lot of events each day in the district. Some of those events are very difficult to reschedule, other events can be moved. The district and individual schools will be providing updates on an ongoing basis, so please watch for changes. Our goal is to reduce opportunities for exposure while continuing to provide events for students. It’s a difficult balance. Currently, the recommendation from public health is not to cancel events. Postponing events when possible seems to be a prudent path forward. 
  • We are creating contingency plans should the situation in Southwest Washington and in our district 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 and 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).
  • In our communication with public health officials, they shared that the flu recently had an uptick in the number of positive cases locally 
  • It is now recommended that those with symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath be fever free for 72 hours prior to returning to school/work rather than our typical 24 hours. 

Plan for childcare:

  • Begin making plans for childcare at home if your child gets sick, or if school is canceled due to the spread of illness. 
  • We will give families as much notice as we can if we are directed to close.
  • If we are 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.  We will utilize snow makeup days and also consider using a state waiver for missed days to the state of emergency our governor has declared. 

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

We will continue to provide you with updates as the situation evolves. 

Sincerely,

Jeff Snell, Superintendent
Camas School District