As a precautionary measure over concerns related to the novel coronavirus, both Genesee and Troy public schools will be closed today for deep cleaning.
Superintendents for both districts notified parents over the weekend that their schools were used to house some students who participated in the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho.
Students from the Henry M. Jackson High School in Snohomish County stayed at the Genesee school and one student from that school has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The test result has yet to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The superintendents and officials from the University of Idaho emphasized in news releases that the infected student did not attend the jazz festival and there is no indication that any students at the festival had direct contact with the infected student from western Washington, nor have they shown symptoms of the disease.
According to the Washington State Department of Health’s website, there have been 13 confirmed cases and two deaths as a result of coronavirus in Washington; three in Snohomish County and 10 in King County, including the two deaths. No cases have been reported in any eastern Washington counties, although results are pending in four unidentified cases and 263 people are under public health supervision. That includes those who are at risk of having been exposed to the novel coronavirus and who are being monitored by public health officials. The Washington website is being updated daily between 3 and 4 p.m. daily.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report no cases of coronavirus in Idaho as of Saturday.
Wendy Moore, superintendent of the Genesee district, said the decision to close the school was made Saturday morning before it had been confirmed that the Jackson High School student was ill with coronavirus.
“We felt it was better to be proactive,” Moore said, adding that the Jackson High School students stayed in their building three nights. The building was offered as a way to help the students cut down on their expenses.
“We decided to err on the side of caution and close Monday,” Moore said. The North Central District Health Department advised school officials how to deep clean the school for disease prevention.
Moore said she has not had any negative pushback from parents after they were notified of the school closure.
“We think the risk is miniscule and we don’t think there’s been any exposure,” she said. “We’re just trying to be proactive.”
In a notice on the Troy schools Facebook page Superintendent Brad T. Malm also said the closure Monday is a precautionary measure to allow for a deep cleaning of the school.
“Our school hosted band members from Payette, Idaho, on Thursday and Friday night in the gym,” Malm’s post said. “Although the risk is extremely low at this time we are taking additional measures to provide extra disinfectant and will clean and sanitize all areas. We want to assure you that the safety of our students is always a priority.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Saturday following word of the first death in the state from the novel coronavirus.
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