Updated 3/2/2020 at 12:30 p.m.
Lakeside School is continuing to track news and information about the spread of coronavirus (2019-nCov) in our region. This is a quickly evolving situation. Our goal is to share what we know, what we are doing and planning, and how families can help.
Our top priority, in determining our actions, is the safety of our students and our employees. We also want to avoid creating unnecessary panic over the situation. We want to stress that Lakeside does not have a current concern of an active exposure.
What we know
According to King County Public Health, King County has confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and more cases have been identified in the U.S. The vast majority of the illnesses around the world are mild, with fever and cough. A much smaller percentage of cases are severe and involve pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions. One person in King County has died. Locally, with the recent additional capacity of lab testing and broadening of who is eligible to get tested, there is an expectation that more cases will be discovered.
As this situation evolves, we will continue to track news and information and consult with our Medical Advisory Board and other medical and public health experts, including from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), King County Public Health, and the World Health Organization.
It’s important to recognize that misinformation about coronavirus can create fear and hostility that hurts people and makes it harder to keep everyone healthy. There have been reports in Seattle and around the world about an increase in anti-Asian discrimination. Please contact the school immediately should you hear of or feel you are the target of any of these behaviors in our community.
How Lakeside is responding
Here is how we are responding to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In taking these actions, we are following recommendations from the CDC and King County Public Health officials, with whom we are in regular contact. Please note this is an evolving situation and this information may change.
- We are adding additional resources and information around the school for our students, faculty, and staff. This includes additional hand-sanitizing stations around campus, disinfecting wipes in every classroom and workspace, and removing communal snacks.
- Administrators are working with teachers to finalize preparations for online teaching, if it becomes necessary. More information will be shared in the coming days.
- Our risk management team is meeting regularly, and on Monday, March 2, we will make preliminary decisions about holding or canceling large events.
- As of Monday, March 2, at 12:30 p.m., the Music in the City concert is cancelled. We are making this decision with an abundance of caution and based on the updated information from King County Public Health.
- Athletics events will continue as scheduled. Shared equipment will be cleaned regularly. Students should bring their own water bottles.
- We have rescheduled the trainers from Jackson Katz’s organization, Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), who were scheduled to work with juniors and seniors this week.
- We will be rescheduling or cancelling non-essential events.
- We will be making decisions this week about school-sponsored upcoming international travel, including the GSL trips scheduled for April.
How families can help
- Most importantly, if your student is sick, keep them home and seek medical attention. Teachers, coaches, and staff will work with students to make up work. If students have a meeting, including with a college counselor, that meeting can be rescheduled or can take place over video-conferencing. If a student comes to school and is sick, we will send them home.
- If you have come in contact with or have a heightened concern that your student or any member of your family has been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) or any other communicable disease, seek medical attention promptly and stay home.
- If you have been diagnosed with, have been exposed to, or have restrictions from your medical provider related to COVID-19 or other communicable diseases, please call Director of Student and Family Support Jamie Asaka at 206-440-2901 for a confidential discussion.
- Families who have traveled internationally in the last month — particularly to China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, or Japan — should review the federal quarantine guidance and travel warnings provided by the CDC. Find the CDC recommendations here.
- Talk with your student about common-sense preventive actions including appropriately covering coughs and sneezes and washing hands often (and for 20 seconds). See below for the full list of recommendations on staying healthy.
- If school or events are cancelled or postponed, we will notify families of Lakeside’s response through multiple channels, including through our emergency alert system. Review how to sign up for emergency alerts.
All students, families, and employees should follow recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our school community healthy and safe. We will share more information in the coming days.