Dear TCGDC Families,
DC Health has confirmed the District’s first presumptive positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19). While the presence of the coronavirus in the District is understandably concerning, it is not unexpected given the spread of the virus globally and in the United States, there is still no widespread community transmission and our priority continues to be prevention.
Planning and preparation in DC has been underway for several weeks, including interagency coordination in partnership with DC Health and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. At this time, under the guidance of DC Health, there is no change in the operating status of the District’s public schools. At the same time, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the contents of this bulletin and the attached FAQs, in particular, because out of an abundance of caution, we have closed School Without Walls High School for the day on Monday, March 9, 2020, to carry out a deep cleaning of the school related to the exposure of a staff member to a person with COVID-19. While the staff member has tested negative, and there is no risk for the school community at this time, we continue to follow strict safety protocols.
The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education has been working closely with DC Health and agencies across District Government to prepare for the possible presence of COVID-19 in the District. We continue to monitor potential cases as well as their proximity to our school communities and other public spaces. As we move forward, we are preparing for every potential scenario, including school closures should they become necessary.
The symptoms that are currently being seen with COVID-19 are fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. To help prevent the spread of germs, you should:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, multiple times a day. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when feeling sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Seek medical attention if you have reason to believe you have been exposed to coronavirus or influenza. Call your healthcare provider before visiting a healthcare facility.
The District Government will continue to share critical updates around coronavirus on coronavirus.dc.gov.
Deputy Mayor for Education