Camas School District Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell provided an update today about the the school district’s coronavirus plan. This is his statement, with some information from Friday, as well:
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 coronavirus 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.
Determining these plans has not been easy. Our goal is to minimize exposure while still providing education for our students. There are no easy solutions, and the plans we make are fluid as information changes. I will frame our plans in a series of questions and answers.
What happens if one of our schools has a known exposure to the virus?
Most likely the school would be closed for a minimum of two days while we do a deep cleaning and follow any additional guidance from health officials.
What about extra-curricular activities?
We will continue student activities such as clubs and athletics as long as school is still in session. Activities that take place away from schools will be assessed. Individual student participation is a decision made by families.
What about events/competitions put on by other organizations?
We will continue to follow the lead of the organization and any direction from health officials. Individual student participation is a decision made by families.
What about community events we host such as school carnivals or movie nights?
Events that bring the community, students, and staff together and are not time-bound will be postponed, possibly until after spring break, when we will reassess the unfolding situation. We realize that this can be challenging; however, limiting exposure when we can is important. Specific information about events will be coming out from both school and district levels.
As we watch the world around us, it seems inevitable that the coronavirus will continue to impact our operations. There are opportunities for us all in these moments to demonstrate the care and compassion that make our community such a wonderful place to live. We will continue to update you as situations change.
To learn more, visit www.camas.wednet.edu