Updated April 3, 2020
The COVID-19 Planning Team has been actively working to discern next steps for our learning community in response to COVID-19. From the beginning our care for this community — our students, faculty, staff, and those we serve — has been of the utmost importance to us. At Governor Jay Inslee’s request to the state of Washington, The Seattle School is taking additional measures and made the following very difficult decisions to care for this community and our neighbors:
Effective March 18, all employees will work remotely
Where challenges exist the COVID-19 planning team is working directly with managers of those areas. Employees should direct any concerns to their manager.
Our building will close March 18-May 4
The decision about when to reopen will be determined in the days ahead. Building access will be limited to a very small group of employees designated by the president and all other external fob access will be suspended. Details are forthcoming on administrative processes that currently require on-site access (i.e.: check processing).
All classes & student services will be moved online
Classes are continuing online as of March 16. Effective March 18, there will be no on-site student services until further notice. We will be supporting students remotely. See our Online Learning Support page for details. Library staff will be providing virtual reference services and interlibrary loans will continue. Patience is appreciated, as response time may be slower than normal.
All travel and in-person events through May 31 have been canceled, rescheduled, or moved to online formats, effective immediately
We made this decision in response to mandates from public health officials and in interest of protecting high-risk populations. We are actively working to either postpone these gatherings for a future date or in the case of trainings, identify alternative delivery methods. We will share updates as they become available.
Preview, Story Workshop (Chicago), Inauguration of President McNeil, and our upcoming Benefit Dinner will be postponed.
Group Interviews, Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I, Externship, Certificate in Resilient Service, and our spring Board of Trustees meeting will be moved to online formats or rescheduled. Participants will receive more information about this in the coming days.
Public Health Agencies have published necessary steps that all persons should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and warm water. Use hand sanitizer if washing is not an option.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or your clothing.
- Keep surfaces clean and germ-free. Properly dispose of used tissues, napkins, cutlery, etc. Wash hands after using shared keyboards, copiers, etc.
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.
Please note: public health officials do not recommend healthy people wear masks to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. People who are sick should wear masks when they are seeking medical care. Supplies of masks and other personal protective equipment must remain available for health care providers who are evaluating and treating ill people.
The Washington State Department of Health has established a hotline if you have specific questions about COVID-19: 1-800-525-0127.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an emergency order to Washington state health insurers requiring them to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). Insurers also must:
- Allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.
- Suspend any prior authorization requirement for treatment or testing of COVID-19.
In addition, if an insurer does not have enough medical providers in its network to provide testing and treatment for COVID-19, it must allow enrollees to be treated by another provider within a reasonable distance at no additional cost. The order is effective immediately and applies to all state-regulated health insurance plans and short-term limited duration medical plans until May 4, 2020.
Support for Community Members
In some cities there has been a xenophobic reaction to COVID-19, blaming the virus on community members who are perceived to come from Asia. We are here to support all community members, from all races and ethnicities. Xenophobia has no place in our community. As always, any community member who experiences discrimination in any form is encouraged to contact Human Resources or our Title IX coordinators.
COVID-19 Planning Team
Derek McNeil, Mike Anderson, Daniel Walkup, Misty Anne Winzenreid, and Kartha Heinz are meeting daily to assess updates from the King County Health Department and CDC and respond accordingly. We ask for everyone’s help to keep our community healthy and safe.
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