Health Notices

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Statement from Public Health Seattle and King County Regarding Schools – March 4

by Devin Felix | Mar 04, 2020

Schools are large, public settings with plenty of social interaction and everyone is concerned about how children will be affected. Health officials from Public Health – Seattle & King County and the CDC weighed recommendations for schools very carefully. The available data about COVID-19 cases has shown that children and youth have not been high risk groups for serious illness from this virus. COVID-19 infection in children tends to be more like a common cold or a mild fever.

We know that schools are doing the important work of educating our children. We don’t want to disrupt that unless there are known coronavirus exposure risks. We also know that school closures have other impacts on working parents. In addition, school closures can be disruptive and costly for families, and we consider both the potential benefits and negative consequences of closures when we make recommendations.

Public Health is not recommending closing schools at this time. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, Public Health will work with the school and the district to determine the best measures including potential school closure. As much as possible, children should be allowed to carry on with their education and normal activities.

“Some children have underlying health conditions, such as weakened immune systems, that put them at higher risk. Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home.”

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