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Seattle area high school temporarily closes due to coronavirus concerns

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Posted at 5:03 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 17:03:21-05

BOTHELL, Wash. – A high school in the Seattle area was closed Thursday because of coronavirus concerns.

The Northshore School District says it decided to temporarily close Bothell High School “out of an abundance of caution” after learning that a staffer’s family member may be infected with the coronavirus.

Superintendent Michelle Reid says the staff member returned to work Monday after a week of international travel with the family member. On Tuesday, that family member became sick and was taken to the hospital, where the person is being treated, monitored and quarantined.

At this time, Reid says there’s no confirmation that the family’s member’s illness is connected to the coronavirus outbreak. She says it may take 5 to 7 days to get the test results back to determine whether the relative has the virus or not.

The staff member has not shown signs of being sick but is also being quarantined at home for two weeks, Reid says.

Officials with the state’s department of health issued a letter Wednesday, saying they believe the risk to students and staff is minimal and that they didn’t believe the school needed to be closed. However, the district decided to play things safe and closed the school Thursday, so crews could fully disinfect the entire school as a preventative measure.

Additionally, the district says it’s in the process of contacting family of students, staff and visitors that the staff member came in contact with on Monday.

It’s unclear if the school will reopen on Friday.