March 5th, 2020 Update
Dear Launch Families,
Launch is committed to keeping our learning community informed. The health and well-being of our students, staff, and community are a top concern. Launch continues to monitor the CDC, City of Seattle, King County Public Health, and Seattle Public Schools to align our response plans to help mitigate the possible spread of the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 disease.
King County revised their recommendations, which can be found HERE. Some key points include:
- All King County residents should follow Public Health recommendations
- People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:
- People 60 and older;
- People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes;
- People who have weakened immune systems;
- People who are pregnant.
If a Launch location and/or the neighboring community is highly impacted by the virus, we will be working closely with our teachers to ensure state required ratios are adhered to. However, to mitigate any potential exposure, Launch is limiting the movement of staff between locations. If we have a significant number of staff absences, or area schools begin to close, Launch will also close the affected location. These decisions are not made lightly, and may be made independent of Seattle Public Schools. A site closure DOES NOT indicate a confirmed or potential case of COVID-19. We will endeavor to communicate any impacts to the center with as much advance notice as we can.
In this time of uncertainty, we strive to keep families well-informed regarding our plans, as well as ask for your support in keeping our students healthy.
We are asking parents and/or guardians to assist us in the following ways:
- Please encourage your child to wash their hands when they arrive to Launch, and throughout the day. Here are is great video from the CDC around handwashing “Happy Handwashing Song”
- Please keep your child home when ill, and notify Launch if your child is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been in close contact with individuals who have been diagnosed
- Please update your contact information in Procare, to ensure you receive all necessary information in a timely manner
- Reminder: If you think you or your children were exposed to COVID-19, contact your primary care provider and call the Washington State Department of Health hotline at 1-800-525-0127 and press # for next steps. Unless it is an emergency, do not go to your nearest emergency room without calling ahead so they can take steps to provide you with the right treatment and protect others from a possible exposure.
Launch has a stringent cleaning and disinfecting protocol to prevent the spread of any contagious diseases. Teachers have been asked to review their cleaning checklists, and additional cleaning strategies are in practice around heavy hand contact places like door knobs, light switches and computer boards.
Additional information from the Department of Health can be found HERE, including some suggestions for helping children understand what is going on.
Thank you for your help in keeping our children safe and healthy.
Laura Nicholson, Director of Operations
Mari Offenbecher, Interim Executive Director