Bothell High School (BHS) is closed for a second day on Feb. 28 after a school employee’s family member became sick after traveling overseas.
After mid-winter break ended last week, the school learned about a portion of students and staff who have travelled internationally.
One of the school’s staff members returned to work on Feb. 24 and the following day, one of their family members who was vacationing with them became sick. This individual is seeking treatment as well as being monitored and quarantined by hospital staff.
The sick family member is being tested for coronavirus, or COVID-19, although it can take 5-7 days for test results to come back.
BHS has been in contact with the State’s Department of Health, who relayed that staff and students are at minimal risk for COVID-19. They also stated that school closure is unnecessary.
The school was also closed Feb. 27.
The closure is to allow cleaning teams to thoroughly disinfect the entire facility. Superintendent Michelle Reid is waiting on test results of the employee’s sick family member, which will help her determine when classes and activities will resume.
Reid made the decision to close the school out of an abundance of caution. Measures have been taken to clean and disinfect the entire school, particularly areas where the staff member had contact with.
Since January, there has been one confirmed case of coronavirus in Washington, and the patient has since made a full recovery. The Centers for Disease Control made a statement on Tuesday in which they relayed that COVID-19 is likely to spread to the U.S. in the next coming weeks.
BHS has been in communication with UW Department of Global Health faculty and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to learn how to combat any possible health emergencies.
At 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 27, the Department of Health held a media conference and stated that one man was quarantined, although they did not state whether he tested positive for coronavirus, or if he was linked to the BHS staff member.