This will be the first of several communications over the coming days based on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.
As of the writing of this communication, Cowlitz County still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Kelso School District remains on normal schedule, including clubs, sports and activities. Our district is analyzing student and staff travel out of the county and will be making case by case decisions as events unfold.
This afternoon, under advisement from Washington State Department of Health, Governor Inslee closed all schools within King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The Governor’s decision to close schools was based on pre-established criteria developed in collaboration with the State Department of Health and the Center of Disease Control. This same criteria will be used in determining additional county closures throughout our state in the coming days, weeks and/or months. At this time, the criteria is based on absenteeism rates of students/staff and growth of confirmed cases.
We know the recent closures raise all kinds of questions and implications for us in Kelso. We are working on plans to address a range of impacts in the event that we, too, are asked to close our schools. We will remain in communication with you as we work through these issues as they arise.
We continue to be provided daily updates from state and local experts. We understand that you may have more questions than we have answers for at this time, and we want you to know we will be sharing the best information we currently have with you in a timely and coordinated effort.
Please continue to practice precautions like thorough hand-washing, social distancing, and staying home when you’re sick.
Thank you for working with us as we work through the COVID-19 challenges. It will take all of us working together to get through it--and we will get through it. In the meantime, the hard-working employees of Kelso School District remain focused on student learning and the growth of our Kelso kids.