Good Evening Meridian Students, Staff, and Families.

As you know, we have been messaging information about our understanding and preparation for the coronavirus COVID -19 outbreak. I was informed earlier this evening about a staff member at our middle school who has been exposed to an individual outside of Whatcom County that has tested positive for COVID-19. That exposure occurred on February 29. Our staff member has cold symptoms, is staying home, and connecting with their primary care doctor.

In conferring with the Whatcom County Health Department, our board and our executive team, we have made the decision to close all Meridian District Schools Tuesday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 11 as a precaution and to allow for additional deep cleaning of our buildings and buses. We are also ceasing all district activities, athletics, and meetings. Staff will also remain home.

Since our staff member has been in school all last week and today, they have been in contact with our other staff and students. Given the size of our district, most of our staff wear many hats and interact with each of our buildings. Our middle school students visit the high school for athletics and math. All our students ride the same buses. Student and staff safety is our primary concern and it is this interconnectedness that has driven the decision to close the district for two days out of precaution.

We are committed to keeping you informed. As soon as new information becomes available, we will let you know. State and county health officials are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and communicating with our health and safety staff. Health agencies will provide recommendations to school districts as needed.

Our intent right now is to resume our regular schedule for all schools on Thursday, March 12. We will continue communication and confirm the resumption of schools Wednesday afternoon. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please call the district office at 360-398-7111.

We apologize for this late notice. We have been doing our due diligence to communicate this information accurately.

Sincerely,

James

Dr. James Everett

Superintendent

The following information was provided by the Whatcom County Department of Health on March 4, 2020.

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

If you think you have been exposed to someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, follow the steps below to monitor your health and avoid spreading the disease to others if you get sick.

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new virus called SARS-CoV-2. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild disease but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized.

How do I know if I was exposed?

You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:

  • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19
  • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, OR
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.). If you have not been in close contact with a sick person with COVID-19, you are considered to be at low risk for infection. You can continue to go to work and school, but should monitor your health for 14 days and stay away from others if you get sick.

What should I do if I am a close contact to someone with COVID-19 but am not sick?

You should monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days.

What should I do if I am a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and get sick?

If you get sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are very mild), you should stay at home and away from other people. If you have any of the following conditions that may increase your risk for a serious infection —age 60 years or over, are pregnant, or have medical conditions—contact your physician’s office and tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19.

If you do not have a high-risk condition but want medical advice, you can call your healthcare provider and tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person. There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.

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