Dear Ridgefield families,
While there are no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in any Ridgefield Schools, the Clark County Health Department announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Clark County. The confirmed case and the small number of people who had close contact with the individual are in quarantine. An update from Public Health is available at https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/close-contacts-covid-19-case-identified-quarantine-14-days.
This is an evolving situation and we remain in regular communication with health department officials. We will rely on public health officials’ guidance to make the best decisions for the health of students/staff 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 cancellation of events. Parents and guardians always make the final decision on whether their student will attend events outside of our district.
- We are reviewing planned district events through the end of spring break. The district and individual schools will be providing updates on an ongoing basis, so please watch for changes.
- If the COVID-19 illness spreads more broadly, we will follow the guidance and recommendations of public health officials.
Prevent the spread of illness:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Stay home and away from others when sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
Plan for childcare:
- Begin making plans for childcare at home if your child gets sick, or if school is cancelled due to the spread of illness. The district will give families as much notice as possible. Please know this could happen with very short notice.
- If a school in the district (or the district entirely) is directed to close by public health officials, the same process for a snow day will be followed, including closing facilities, rescheduling of athletic and extracurricular practices and events, and closure of before/after school programs. The district will schedule makeup days and consider whether to pursue a waiver of missed days.
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. There is a direct link from our school district homepage.
Dr. Nathan McCann