Schools in Washington to remain closed rest of school year
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Two Kent School District schools closed Monday amid coronavirus concerns

Data pix.

UPDATE: There are six schools in western Washington that are closed Monday over coronavirus concerns.

KENT, Wash. -- A high school and an elementary school in the Kent School District will be closed Monday "out of an abundance of caution" amid novel coronavirus concerns.

According to a letter from the district, Kentwood High School and Covington Elementary School will be closed Monday, March 2.

District officials said they learned late Sunday that a parent of two Kentwood students "is experiencing flu-like symptoms and is waiting to be tested for COVID-19, Coronavirus."

The family is self-quarantined in their home while they await the test and results.

"The parent was at a local health care center recently where other positive cases have been confirmed and then became sick with flu-like symptoms last Wednesday," the district wrote in a letter to parents. "The students did attend school and activities last week and are not symptomatic at this time. Another member of this same family works at Covington Elementary School and is also not showing any flu-like symptoms but did attend work all last week."

The district decided to close both schools Monday in an "abundance of caution." Both schools were to be cleaned and disinfected.

It was unclear if the schools would be back open Tuesday.

Read the full letter from the Kent School District:

Dear Kent School District Community:

Late Sunday evening, March 1, we learned from a parent of two Kentwood students that one parent and is experiencing flu-like symptoms and is waiting to be tested for COVID-19, Coronavirus. The family are self-quarantined at home, they have been in contact with public health officials and are awaiting the test and results of the test for the virus.

The parent was at a local health care center recently where other positive cases have been confirmed and then became sick with flu-like symptoms last Wednesday. The students did attend school and activities last week and are not symptomatic at this time. Another member of this same family works at Covington Elementary School and is also not showing any flu-like symptoms but did attend work all last week.

Once learning about this situation this evening, we immediately began reviewing protocols and have contacted Public Health Seattle & King County. Out of an abundance of caution, we will close Kentwood High School and Covington Elementary School on Monday, March 2, 2020.  We have mobilized our custodial staff to begin thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting both schools. This may take more than one day to complete, school closure decisions for March 3.

Earlier Sunday, it was announced that Hazen High School in Renton would also be closed Monday out of an abundance of caution, school district officials said.

Another western Washington school, Jackson High School in Snohomish County, will also be closed Monday over coronavirus concerns. A student at Jackson High School in Mill Creek is one of eight people statewide who has tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday (March 1).

Coronavirus in Washington state

Health officials in Washington state said Sunday night that a second person had died from the novel coronavirus and researchers said it may have been circulating for weeks undetected in the greater Seattle area.

The man in his 70s died Saturday. On Friday health officials said a man in his 50s died of the virus.

Both had underlying health conditions and both were being treated at a hospital in Kirkland, Washington.

Washington state now has 12 confirmed cases.

State and local authorities stepped up testing for the illness as the number of new cases grew nationwide, with new infections announced in California, Illinois, Rhode Island and New York.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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