Centralia School District

Students and teachers pile into the new Centralia High School building before starting classes in September, 2019.

Centralia and Chehalis School Districts issued a letter to parents staff and students that addressed the coronavirus and provided some information on how to keep the schools safe.

Both school districts are following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both letters included ways to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus or any other viral infection: Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, avoid touching face with unwashed hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, clean and disinfect objects and surfaces, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, stay at home if you feel sick.

“Basically what we’ve done right now is we’ve notified the families with the letter that there is quite a concentration of the virus in Washington state. We are not aware of any cases in our area yet and we are being hypervigilant to the situation,” said Ed Petersen, the district’s Communications & Public Relations Coordinator. 

Petersen said that the Centralia School District is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington Department of Health and Lewis County Public Health and Social Services to stay up-to-date.

“The district takes this health risk very seriously. If cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) are confirmed in our community or in connection to our schools, we will immediately notify families and take steps in conjunction with our local health department to ensure that our schools are safe for students and staff,” stated the letter from the Centralia School District. 

The Chehalis School District Superintendent Ed Rothlin mentioned in the letter to parents, staff and students that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the risk for the general American public is low but the district wants to be proactive in case the risk increases.

“We have increased custodial support to help disinfect high touch areas (including buses). Also, we have increased hand sanitizer stations throughout all of our schools,” said Rothlin in the letter.

(2) comments


[angry] Why is this NOT done during flu season??? The media is making people panic for NO reason!


Dear NeeNee, I appreciate your indignance; however, I don't see it as the media creating a panic. I'm pleased to see our community (the schools and media) being proactive in our safety during this very real and potential situation.

I personally, being an elder person with COPD, would like to see more reassurance that our communities are prepared if this horrible situation should find its way down the I-5 corridor. Are our first responders prepared? Are our local hospitals adequate to a possible need. And how should I and those like myself proceed if need arises.

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