As today is Friday, I am sharing my weekly COVID update. We are currently maintaining our Stage 2 Learning Model status, and we continue planning for a return to school buildings when it becomes safe to do so.
We have been watching positive COVID cases skyrocket across the country. According to one news report, “The death toll in the United States, currently at 244,250, could nearly double by March 1 to 438,971, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine forecasted in its latest projection.” Also, the Seattle Times reported earlier today 2,142 new COVID positive cases and 12 deaths. Health officials confirm that this is a dangerous trend, especially as we head into the holidays. Gov. Inslee has put a travel advisory into effect for the state of Washington and asked all of us to rethink how we celebrate the holidays, warning against large gatherings.
The picture below tells the story of a dangerous trend that is keeping us in this holding pattern. The numbers you see on this graph indicate COVID-19 positive rate per 100K population in prior 2 weeks in King and Snohomish Counties.
- November 5 – 197.4
- November 8 – 223.6
- November 9 – 234.0
- November 5 – 190.4
- November 8 – 214.4
- November 9 – 221.1
I continue to be in regular conversation with students, staff, and families regarding the educational experiences of our students and the related successes and opportunities experienced during these challenging times. I hear you and I acknowledge this is not easy. I also understand the importance of supporting the positive mental health of our students, staff and families. To this end, I will continue to work with staff and community partners to develop and implement solutions for making our mental health services more accessible and a part of our regular routines.
I recently read that health officials suggest we try to maintain positive mental health in these next few months by staying connected with a small circle of contacts and by regularly exercising. I invite you to connect with me if you have other ideas to recommend for supporting positive mental health during these times. In the meantime, I am encouraging everyone to continue to work together, continue to share ideas that have promise, continue to connect with one another, and know that together, all things are possible.
Wishing each of you and yours a safe and joyful weekend,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.