On Sunday night, March 1, 2020, the Kent School District announced that – due to concerns about coronavirus COVID-19 – it would close Kentwood High and Covington Elementary Schools on Monday, March 2.

“Late Sunday evening, March 1, we learned from a parent of two Kentwood students that one parent and is experiencing flu-like symptoms and is waiting to be tested for COVID-19, Coronavirus,” Supertindent Dr. Calvin Watts said in a statement. “The family are self-quarantined at home, they have been in contact with public health officials and are awaiting the test and results of the test for the virus.”

The district said that the parent was at a local health care center recently where other positive cases have been confirmed and then became sick with flu-like symptoms last Wednesday. The students did attend school and activities last week and are not symptomatic at this time. Another member of this same family works at Covington Elementary School and is also not showing any flu-like symptoms but did attend work all last week.

“Once learning about this situation this evening, we immediately began reviewing protocols and have contacted Public Health Seattle & King County,” Watts added. “Out of an abundance of caution, we will close Kentwood High School and Covington Elementary School on Monday, March 2, 2020. We have mobilized our custodial staff to begin thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting both schools. This may take more than one day to complete, school closure decisions for March 3 will be announced by 5pm on Monday, March 2.”

Additionally, the district will individually communicate with families of those students and staff that the students may have come into contact with last week.

Watts also said:

“Beyond these two schools, our entire Kent School District maintenance team and our custodians remain focused on routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, countertops, etc.) and will provide additional cleaning supplies and additional tissues for all schools.”

“The safety of our students and staff is our first priority. In partnership with the Washington State Department of Health we will take the necessary precautionary steps as we face this health challenge together as a community.”

For additional information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as preventative tips and resources, please visit the State Department of Health website for the most accurate and up to date information; https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and update you as we have more information. If you have any questions, please e-mail communications@kent.k12.wa.us.”

Scott Schaefer

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