Bothell HS closed for second day over coronavirus concerns
Update 2/29/2020: Test results for coronavirus came back as negative for the staff member at Bothell High School. School will be open on Monday.
Bothell High School's Thursday closure was extended through Friday over fears of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
In a letter sent to parents Wednesday, Northshore School District Superintendent Michelle Reid said a school staff member returned to work on Monday after a week of international travel. A family member traveling with them then became sick Tuesday and was taken to an unidentified hospital. Reid said testing for the disease could take five to seven days.
Superintendent Reid said the high school was undergoing a deep cleaning Thursday.
Reid said the district is contacting families of students and employees who may have come in contact with the staff member. She noted the staffer was not the person who became sick.
She said the district acted “out of an abundance of caution” given the uncertainties over the disease. She also said she was concerned about how speculation might be spread on social media.
County health officials sent out a statement emphasizing that coronavirus had not been confirmed.
“Closing schools when there has not been a confirmed case in a student or staff member is not currently recommended by Public Health — Seattle & King County or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the statement said. “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.”
Statement from Public Health – Seattle & King County:
“We understand that the Northshore School District is choosing to close Bothell High School on February 27, 2020 to clean the building because they are concerned about novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Closing schools when there has not been a confirmed case in a student or staff member is not currently recommended by Public Health — Seattle & King County 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.
Public Health will continue to provide guidance to the Northshore School District and will provide any support that we can.
There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington state or King County. Furthermore, no staff or students are suspected of being infected with this virus in the Northshore School District. There has been only one confirmed case in Washington state, in January 2020, and that person has fully recovered. 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. We will continue to communicate with King County residents about their risk for coronavirus as the situation evolves. Currently, the health risk for COVID-19 in the United States is considered low to the general public and to Washingtonians.”