SJCC Update on Coronavirus: March 5

Dear SJCC Community,
The SJCC continues to monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and act according to guidance from public health agencies and the most up-to-date information available.

As of this date, we are not aware of any confirmed case of or direct exposure to COVID-19 at the SJCC. The situation is rapidly evolving and, as such, we will update our website as things change. Updates are also available from the local, state, and federal public health agencies listed below.

Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health) issued updated recommendations on Thursday, March 5. You can find these recommendations here. We wanted to highlight some of those recommendations as they relate to the J. 

Event and community gathering considerations
Public Health is encouraging those with a higher risk of severe illness to stay home and avoid large groups as much as possible and suggests that businesses consider the feasibility of postponing events and gatherings. Here at the J, we are evaluating events and programs on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the many factors that inform a decision to cancel or postpone.

For our events that continue as scheduled, we:

  • Urge anyone who is sick or at high risk for coronavirus not to attend (click here for more on “Persons Who Are At A Higher Risk).
  • Are ensuring adequate space to allow for “social distancing,” for example, seating attendees in every other or every third seat, so people aren’t in close contact. 
  • Have added messaging and signage to promote healthy hygiene habits, like frequent hand washing, along with providing hand sanitizers in areas where hand washing isn’t immediately accessible.
  • Follow cleaning procedures recommended by public health agencies for our venues.

Guidance for workplaces and businesses
At the J we are communicating with our staff to:

  • Stagger shifts where possible
  • Stay home when they are sick
  • Maximize telecommuting options for those that are able

Guidance for schools
Public Health is not recommending closing schools at this time unless they have had a confirmed case. As mentioned, we do not have any confirmed cases at the J or in the early Childhood School. Read more >>

If you feel sick
Stay home. Do not go out in public. Avoid medical settings in general unless necessary. If you are ill in any way, call your doctor’s office first before going in. Read more >>

For general public
Know the facts. Don’t spread rumors and stop them when you hear them. Information is changing frequently. Check out these resources to stay informed:

How does the City of Mercer Island’s recent proclamation impact this?
The City of Mercer Island has issued a Proclamation of Emergency which allows the city to act quickly should the outbreak spread to residents here. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mercer Island as of Thursday (March 5) morning, but the emergency proclamation streamlines the City’s process should they need to procure equipment, supplies, and services. Read more on the proclamation here. 

Where should questions be directed?  
The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. 

What’s next?
The SJCC will continue to update our community about COVID-19 as the situation evolves. Please recognize this may result in an unusually high volume of emails from us — we appreciate your patience and understanding as we do our best to keep as current as possible. 

Amy Lavin, CEO