Hazen High School reopened Tuesday, March 3 after closing on Monday to clean the school out of an “abundance of caution” as one student and one parent are tested for the COVID-19, coronavirus. Families are still feeling frightened by the King County outbreak, as Hazen and other regional schools face lower than normal attendance and more cases continue to be confirmed.
Public Health Seattle – King County has advised that schools not close resulting in outbreak fears. Renton School District Spokesperson Randy Matheson said that the district chose to close the school in order to be extra careful, and allowing them enough time to disinfect classrooms and common spaces, based off the information they received from the tested parent.
The parent of a Hazen student informed the district on Sunday morning, March 1, that the mother and student had flu-like symptoms. Matheson said the parent works in a healthcare field “that is very specific” to the situation around coronavirus.
“It was close enough and concerning enough that the parent wanted us to know about it,” he said.
The student started experiencing flu symptoms on the afternoon of Feb. 26, last week and did not attend school Thursday and Friday. The parent and student have self-quarantined in their home while awaiting the results of the test. The parent hasn’t received a timeline on when they will receive the results of the test, Matheson said Tuesday.
Janitorial staff spent Sunday into Monday evening cleaning the school. They used deep cleaning methods on only the classrooms the student would have used and the common areas. The rest of the building was sprayed with a disinfectant the district uses for regular cleaning.
Matheson said there are fewer students in Hazen Tuesday morning, but the lower attendance is the same across the district. He said its been eye opening to hear from families who are confused and frightened by the information around coronavirus.
If students are sick, they will be excused, but Matheson said the district hopes outside of that families will continue to send their children to school and not miss important work.
District community members with any questions can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
King County public health officials are asking the public to take the following steps to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.
- Stay home when sick
- Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website (www.kingcounty.gov/COVID) or blog (www.kingcounty.gov)