Information about new coronavirus

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Information about new coronavirus

Below is a message emailed to all Olympia School District families and staff on February 4, 2020


As you may know, China is experiencing an expanding outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus. This new coronavirus (“2019 Novel Coronavirus),” emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It is spreading from person-to-person, and cases have been detected in a number of countries internationally and the United States.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported today, February 4, that, “At this time, the immediate risk to the general public in Washington and the United States is considered to be low.” DOH added there is no evidence that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is spreading in Washington state at this time.

State health officials have also asked us to remind the community that “the risk of novel coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality.”

We understand that this new coronavirus may be worrisome to our community. We want to assure you that our district will follow all health directives regarding this coronavirus. DOH is generally the lead agency in health situations such as this and provides direction to school districts.

To learn more about the new coronavirus, visit the DOH website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

DOH has also established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Health tips

Please also remember that cold and flu season is upon us. If your child is sick, please keep them at home.

There are steps people can take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. These steps, also listed on the DOH website, include:

  • 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 your 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.