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Coming To A School Near You? Seattle-Area School District Closes All Schools Due To Coronavirus Worries

As of Thursday morning, there have been 10 deaths in Washington State due to coronavirus, or COVID-19, and there have been at least 39 confirmed cases of individuals having contracted the virus.

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Because of its spread, and because some students and faculty have come into direct or indirect contact with others who have the disease, Northshore public schools, a school district near Seattle, Washington, has decided to close their buildings, and shift toward online learning for up to two weeks.

“I believe that the time has come for our district community to make an important shift,” Michelle Reid, Northshore’s superintendent, said. “All school sites in the Northshore School District will be closed beginning Thursday, March 5 for up to 14 days while we continue to monitor the situation and health department recommendations.”

“Education is a service to which our district is resolutely committed. It is not a place,” she added.

Last week, the school district’s high school was closed for two days in response to the coronavirus. An elementary school was also closed on Monday for cleaning and to test a staff member for the virus (the results of the test have not yet been received).

The district, which is home to nearly 24,000 students, will make accommodations to students without technology so that learning can continue at home.

“We are taking this strategic approach not because we think by doing so, we will stop an epidemic; we are simply trying to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Reid said.

Northshore’s actions may soon become a regular thing across the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made many recommendations to schools and parents in the wake of the outbreak. “You should ask your children’s schools about their plans for school dismissals or school closures,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, an official with the CDC, said in comments last week.

Featured image credit: sarahcollins/Pixabay



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