Archive for DDSD Coronavirus Shutdown Communications

Update: March 18th

Dear David Douglas Families,

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced an extension to her mandate to close Oregon schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The governor’s new orders mean that schools will be closed until April 28, 2020.

We know this is a trying time and that the closure of our schools is a challenge. Please know we are doing all we can to plan for our students’ return and are looking for additional guidance from the Oregon Department of Education on how to equitably deliver instruction to all students during this extended closure.

What we do know right now:

  • We will continue to provide grab-and-go meals for all children under 18 during the extended closure (except during Spring Break March 23-27)
  • Our facilities will remain closed to students and most staff during the extended closure
  • Our custodians will continue to clean all surfaces in our schools to ensure they remain disinfected for when students and staff return
  • We will continue to update our family resources webpages with learning resources, day care options, food resources, virus prevention information, and more. Access these resources through green buttons below or visit this resource menu page.

While our students are away from school, please help them understand the importance of this national health emergency by encouraging social distancing, good hand hygiene, avoiding people who are sick, and covering their coughs and sneezes. People over 60 or who have compromised immune systems should self-isolate. Gatherings of more than 10 people are not recommended by the U.S. government at this time.

We appreciate your understanding as we navigate this constantly changing situation. We will be in touch with more information as soon as we have a plan to navigate this extended closure. Please do what you can to help prevent the spread of this virus.

March 17th Communication

Dear David Douglas Families,

This afternoon, Governor Brown extended the statewide school closure until Tuesday April 28 to help contain the spread of COVID-19. This latest news raises many questions for all of us. More guidance will be given to districts from the Oregon Department of Education in the coming days. We will update you tomorrow and in the coming days. 

March 16th Communication

To our David Douglas Families:

As you know, the coronavirus outbreak has closed all Oregon schools until April 1. This is an extreme burden on many of our families, so we wanted to provide you with a one-stop shop to locate community resources that may help you through this closure.

In light of national and world events, we should all be prepared for the potential for our school closure to extend beyond April 1, though no decisions or announcements have been made.

In light of national and world events, we should all be prepared for the potential for our school closure to extend beyond April 1, though no decisions or announcements have been made.

PLEASE NOTE: For March 17-20 only, our grab-and-go meal hours have been changed so that families need only make one trip to pick up both breakfast and lunch. Our four sites will be open from 9-11 a.m. March 17-20. Click here for the Food Resources button below for details.

Below you will find resources for online learning at home (note this does not substitute for state-mandated classroom time), mental and physical health, food resources, information on how to prevent the spread of viruses, day care opportunities, and more.

We intend to update this page anytime we become aware of additional resources for our families.

Please stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance from others, and we will see you back in school once this outbreak has passed.

Schools are closed March 16-31. To view the closure letter click here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

March 13th Communication

School Closure Letter

To Our David Douglas Community,

Governor Kate Brown has ordered all schools in Oregon to close beginning Monday, March 16 and remaining closed until April 1. All David Douglas schools will be closed to students from March 16 through March 31. During the closure, all sports and extra-curricular activities also will be canceled.

We know this will be very difficult for many of our families. Our schools provide students with reliable, healthy meals and a safe learning environment while their parents/guardians are at work. Our students also will be missing out on educational opportunities.

The health and safety of our students, families and staff is our highest priority. The decision to close schools was made to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19. By reducing large gatherings of people, such as a crowded school building, it is hoped the spread of the virus will slow enough to prevent overwhelming our health facilities, which would pose a grave danger to thousands of Oregonians.

We are currently planning on how to continue providing meals to students during this time, and we will communicate that to you as soon as a plan is developed. David Douglas administrators will continue to work during this time planning for reopening schools and frequently communicating with our families as this process develops. Our custodians will continue to work during this time to keep our schools clean.

Thank you all for your patience, and please continue to keep yourselves safe by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, covering your cough, staying home if you’re sick, and avoiding large gatherings. These precautions are especially important for people over 60 or who have compromised immune systems.

Chinese, Russian Spanish, Somali and Vietnamese translations of this message are available below

Meals and Food Pantry Information

Visit this page to view where we will be serving to go breakfasts/lunches during the closure and a list of DDSD Food Pantry locations

Mar. 12 Update: Events Cancelled

Please read this DDSD article: Schools remain open. All events are cancelled

Mar. 9 Update: CDC large gatherings guidance

We continue to follow the lead and advice of Oregon health experts regarding COVID-19, the new coronavirus. Health officials do not recommend closing schools or cancelling any school events or gatherings at this time. Therefore, all school events will go on as scheduled.

However, there are precautions that we are taking and that you should take when attending an event or large gathering:

  • If you are sick or have symptoms of the cold, flu or coronavirus, stay home.
  • The elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, should not attend school events or gatherings.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your face, especially after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, or coughing and sneezing.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, and immediately throw that tissue away.
  • Schools will be diligent about disinfecting areas where events and large gatherings will be held, especially common touch spots.

The health and safety of our students, families and staff is our highest priority. Below is a link to Multnomah County Health Department with additional guidance around large gatherings.

https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-large-gatherings

Mar. 4 Update: How we’re cleaning our facilities

Because of the recent coronavirus outbreak, we have received questions about what we are doing to keep our facilities clean in order to prevent the spread of viruses. 

Proper disinfection of our buildings has always been part of our daily cleaning routines. Custodians are now being extra diligent to clean and disinfect high touch zones multiple times a day.

High touch zones might include door handles, light switches, product dispensers, stall doors, phones, office counters and computer keyboards.

In addition, kitchen staff are also sanitizing high touch spots at least 3 times every day. Likewise, bus drivers are disinfecting bus seats, the backs of bus seats, bar handles, and other common touch points.

Handwashing with soap and warm water is the most effective way to prevent the spread of viruses. All students are being encouraged and directed to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. Signs encouraging hand washing and instructing on how to properly wash hands are being posted.

We continue to follow the lead and recommendations of our local health authorities.

Do you have questions about proper cleaning and washing to prevent the spread of the virus at your home or office? Visit this Multnomah County Health Department site

CDC Poster: Stop the spread of germs

Mar. 1 Update: Oregon’s first presumptive case of COVID-19

We have received questions or concerns from our community about news of the novel coronavirus (respiratory illness) called COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that had not been seen in humans before.

Yesterday, Oregon announced its first presumptive case of COVID-19. The patient was an adult who spent time in a school in the Lake Oswego school district and may have exposed students and staff at the school. The individual has been isolated and is being cared for at a local hospital. OHA epidemiologists are working closely with public health investigators at Washington County Department of Health and Human Services to identify close contacts of the case.

The health department proactively contacts household members of cases of COVID-19 and will request that they self-isolate, meaning not attend school or work, for 14 days after their last contact with the infectious person. In the event that a classroom of individuals is exposed to a student, teacher, or other staff with confirmed COVID-19, Multnomah County Health Department will likely exclude the entire classroom for 14 days after the last exposure. 

There are no other known cases in Oregon, but the David Douglas School District is closely monitoring this situation and is in frequent contact with public health authorities. Public health officials advise parents to keep students home if they display any signs of illness. Health officials also support schools in sending home or keeping home students and staff members who appear unwell, consistent with the tri-county standard exclusion guidelines. 

Tri-County Exclusion Guidelines: https://www.co.washington.or.us/HHS/CommunicableDiseases/upload/Disease_Exclusion_Guide_Updated-July-2017-1.pdf 

The internal team actively reviewing coronavirus developments includes the Superintendent, our principals, and staff from Communications, Emergency Management, Student Health, and Facilities. We will continue to work with the health department to determine when and if any additional measures, including decisions about cleaning, school closures, and social distancing need to be taken. 

You can help yourself and your student(s) to reduce their risk for getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the flu and the common cold, by encouraging them to take simple steps which will also prevent COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue, sleeve, or elbow (not hands) when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands.
  • If you or someone in your household is sick, stay home and follow the guidance of your healthcare provider. 
  • Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and regular exercise, and by taking care of underlying health conditions.

There are also basic steps every household should take to prepare for any unexpected event: 

  • Learn about your employer’s sick leave and telecommuting policies.
  • Establish a childcare plan in the event your kids need to stay home from school.
  • Make sure you have the kinds of foods, drinks, medications and pet supplies you would want if you needed to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple weeks.
  • Get to know your neighbors, especially those who might need extra help like seniors or people living alone.
  • In the face of rumors check multco.us/covid19 for reliable information.

More information and ongoing updates from public health officials are available online, including:

If you have school-related questions or concerns about COVID-19 please contact your student’s school.

Feb. 29 Update: What we’re doing and what you can do to prepare for COVID-19

With the first presumed case of COVID-19 in Oregon, we’re working through the weekend to identify those with close and prolonged contact with the person affected and letting them know how to stay well and stay safe, says Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines.

The Oregon Health Authority announced the first presumed case of COVID-19 in Washington County on Feb. 28. The case occurred in a person with no known travel risk. The person is hospitalized in Kaiser Westside Medical Center.

Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said public health staff would be working through the evening and the weekend to identify the person’s close personal contacts. Dr. Jennifer Vines: “We’ll be working to identify those with close and prolonged contact and let them know how to stay well and stay safe. This is what public health does.”

At Multnomah County, a team of nurses and epidemiologists works full-time and on-call 24/7 to keep infectious diseases from spreading. Any time a new risk arises — like COVID-19 — the team immediately launches into plans on how to scale up quickly if needed. 

That team began planning how it would respond to a case of COVID-19 the very same day Washington State first announced a resident there tested positive for the new virus, on Jan. 21.

What does that look like? 

About two dozen staff from the county’s Public Health Division, Office of Emergency Management and Office of Communications sit on the county’s core response team. The team established a response plan based on potential levels of risk to guide its actions. 

The Multnomah County Health Officer coordinates planning for a regional health system that includes the area’s two leading health insurers, eight hospital systems and five local public health authorities. The Multnomah County team also shares a weekly situation report with about 400 members of local governments and community groups (posted at multco.us/covid19).

Meanwhile, a communications team shares information through multco.us/covid19 and pushes out social media and community messages. They also respond to community questions. The Multnomah County Public Health Division has a dedicated community outreach team that has coordinated trainings for culturally-specific community groups and community health workers who serve our immigrant and refugee residents.

All of these activities are in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, the state agency that is leading the statewide response and planning. You can find out more about that by visiting this page.

What can you do?

There are things everyone can do to prepare for this virus and prevent the spread of other viruses like influenza. That’s because the same things that protect against cold and flu germs, also prevent COVID-19.

“Anytime people gather, there’s a chance to exchange germs. That’s how the flu and common cold spread” said Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “So if COVID-19 comes to Oregon, there is a chance that a lot of people will get sick. That said, there’s a lot we can do to stay healthy and protect the people we spend time with.”

To protect yourself, your family, and your coworkers:

  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue, sleeve, or elbow (not hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. 
  • Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and regular exercise, and by taking care of underlying health conditions.

There are also basic steps every household should take to prepare for any unexpected event: 

  • Learn about your employer’s sick leave and telecommuting policies.
  • Establish a childcare plan in the event your kids need to stay home from school.
  • Make sure you have the kinds of foods, drinks, medications and pet supplies you would want if you needed to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple weeks.
  • Get to know your neighbors, especially those who might need extra help like seniors or people living alone.
  • In the face of rumors check multco.us/covid19 for reliable information.

“Take this time to prepare yourselves and reach out to your neighbors,” said Public Health Director Rachael Banks. “We each need to do our part, support one another, and work as a community.”

Banks asks residents to share information from reliable sources. Spreading rumors can cause harm and increase fear. She urged residents to remember that a person’s ethnicity, language or country or origin is not a risk factor for COVID-19. 

“We have heard alarming stories from Asian American residents about being targeted by those who fear they might somehow carry this virus, and some business owners have reported their sales have dropped,” she said. “Please support our Asian American neighbors and businesses. Again, we must face this as a community united.”

About COVID-19

This novel coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. 

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that usually cause mild symptoms similar to the common cold. Two coron­aviruses — Middle Eastern Respi­ra­tory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respi­ra­tory Syndrome (SARS) have caused more severe illness. COVID-19 is a new strain of the virus and current infor­ma­tion suggests it is less severe.

The virus spreads like the flu, when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes close to another person. Close means about 6 feet. A person is more likely to make another person sick when they have symptoms like a cough.

After someone contracts COVID-19, illness usually develops 2 to 14 days later. Those symptoms include fever and cough. Seniors, and people with under­lying health condi­tions would be at greater risk of severe disease.

If a person did have symptoms and might have been exposed to COVID-19 they should call their local health department and their health care provider to decide if they need to be seen. If so, the health experts would help create a plan to enter a clinic in a way that avoids being around others.

Learn More

This situation can cause fear and anxiety in all of us. Residents who need support can call the County’s Mental Health Call Center any time of day or night. Just dial 503-988-4888.

To learn more about this virus and to find out what local, state and federal health authorities are doing to keep the public safe, check out these resources.

  • County response: Multnomah County Public Health leads the local response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Residents who are concerned can also call their primary care provider, or local county health department:

  • Multnomah County Public Health: 503-988-3406
  • Clackamas County Public Health: 503-655-8411
  • Clark County Public Health: 564-397-8182
  • Washington County Public Health: 503-846-3594

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Here is a link to a comic that will help children understand what the coronavirus is and how to protect themselves