Preparing for Coronavirus Outbreaks

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee visits the King County Health and Medical Area Command on Jan. 29, 2020. (Erin Murphy/Public Health – Seattle & King County)

As the reach of the Coronavirus outbreak spreads, communities are beginning to grapple with how to best respond to the virus and the respiratory illness it causes.

COVID-19 is a new disease (identified in humans as of December ’19), and we are learning more about it every day. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with coughing, sneezing, fever and shortness of breath. The virus has spread to over 35 countries and possibly up to 2% of those infected will die from the virus, with the highest mortality rates in those 65 and older. The director at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave a press briefing this week, warning that the outbreak will indeed occur in the United States, although when and how many will be affected is currently unknown. [*updated information at the Department of Health can be found HERE.]

Workers disinfect subway trains against coronavirus in Tehran. ( Sajjad Safari / AP)

While our current local risk remains low, WA Public Health has monitored about 500 people (travelers and community members), with about 250 requiring assessment and quarantining at home. One particular issue is that much of the personal protective equipment that hospitals and health workers use is made in China, where manufacturing has come to a stop due to the disease.

Students, staff and instructors at the Academy should be alert for symptoms and do everything they can to prevent the spread of coronavirus. No one should attend lessons or come in to contact with others if they meet the above criteria. Isolate patients, ask them to wear a face mask, and immediately notify your local health department for guidance.

The precautions we take on a daily basis will help to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Stay home when sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating and after blowing your nose. Alternatively, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched (surfaces like counters, computer keyboards, tables, doorknobs, and objects like keys, phones, etc..).
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw away the tissue and wash your hands.

Pacific Learning Academy puts your child’s safety first. We all want to stay calm and informed, as well as thinking through contingency plans in case the outbreak disrupts the regular school day or academic services at the Academy.

The Academy has the technological ability to hold lessons even if face-to-face lessons are impossible.

The Academy has successfully used Zoom and other online sharing programs to work with students remotely (from New Orleans to Amsterdam!) and we will continue to rely on this program if an outbreak disrupts our community.

As an accredited private school, the Academy is in the unique position of being able to match up with local curriculum and ensure that students earn the credits they need on the timetable their family desires. Entire courses that take 180 days at school (a full school year) can be completed in 30% of the time via our 1-on-1 learning environment.

The most important thing we can all do is to stay informed and take preventative measures (hand washing/sanitizing).

We will decide together, parents and the Academy, when or if a switch to online educational support and credit classes might be necessary.

If you have any questions, please contact Pacific Learning Academy’s owner and Executive Director, Kirsten O’Malley.

Pacific Learning Academy is a one-on-one school offering single courses and dual enrollment, as well as full-time middle and high school. Pacific Learning Academy is Washington State Approved via the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI — see listings HERE) and a nationally Accredited private school via AdvancED/Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). High School coursework is approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). We also offer tutoring in all subjects from 6th to 12th grade, including test prep, either in-home or local libraries across the Eastside (Issaquah, Sammamish, etc…). See more at www.PacificLearningAcademy.com

February 25, 2020

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