Close all Placer County schools to protect kids/families from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Close all Placer County schools to protect kids/families from the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Mridini Vijay started this petition to Superintendents/board members of all Placer County school districts

California was declared to be in a state of emergency earlier today, March 4, by Governor Gavin Newsom. The very first COVID-19 related death in the entire state of California occurred today in the Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center, and it was unfortunately a Rocklin resident who interacted with someone who boarded the Grand Princess. There are four other people quarantined in Placer County, 3 of which are fire fighters with family members who are working for/attending school in the Rocklin school district. Although coronavirus is relatively non-fatal to students, it is fatal to adults above 60 and very young babies/children, as both groups have compromised immune systems. Those with underlying health issues (particularly respiratory issues) are more susceptible to the illness. Many students have underlying health issues and live with elders/adults with underlying health issues such as diabetes/heart disease, and the virus can be passed from students to these people at risk. Not enough research has been done on the virus's long term impacts, but there is a strong correlation to permanent weakening of the lungs. This is more than just a new flu. We know that the influenza weakens our immune system before restoring back to normal. However, the novel coronavirus directly attacks pneumocytes, which is the reason for alveolar destruction/fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is irreversible, so even if healthy young people don't face repercussions now, it is probable that this fibrosis will significantly affect them later in life if they were to develop another respiratory illness or disease. It is also not statistically sound to compare mortality rates to the mortality rates of the seasonal flu, as the sample size is significantly smaller. Additionally, people don't necessarily develop full immunity to the virus (not enough antibodies are produced upon first exposure), meaning that reinfection is a possibility. A common argument is that shutting down schools won't prevent people from going to public places; keep in mind that students are legally required to be at school, and not attending school (while it is in session) has repercussions for many students, unless they are all on independent study plans, which is simply not as feasible. On the contrary, knowing that the school recognizes this outbreak as a legitimate safety breach will deter many (if not all) from going to public places unnecessarily. Symptoms don't show up for two weeks in individuals with the virus, and the virus could already be on surfaces (or airborne in the form of sneeze/cough particles) before those at high risk are quarantined; even if deep cleaning is practiced at school facilities, it's harder to regulate on outdoor campuses where not all surfaces can be cleaned. Many parents and students would feel safer if schools were shut down immediately, especially those in Rocklin. Keep in mind that districts in China did not shut down schools at first as they had the same, lax mentality regarding how fast the illness could spread; soon enough, an outbreak ensued. It is better to be safe than sorry, and take action now. Another counter argument is that telling students to take precautionary methods is enough; while this may be somewhat true for students at the middle school and high school levels, it is very difficult to enforce these measures upon young kids in elementary school, who are simply not as mature or mindful. In fact, even many adults struggle to fight the urge to touch their faces. If a complete shut down isn't feasible, for those who don't want their kids to take the risk of exposing themselves to a large crowd of students, Placer County school districts, and Rocklin/Roseville/Granite Bay districts in particular, should allow every novel coronavirus-concern related absence to be an excused absence. Schools should be online to qualify for the state funds they receive for student attendance. I also recognize that the outbreak's containment is not possible at this point, but closing schools will slow down the spread of the virus, which in turn will ensure that health professionals are not immediately overwhelmed by the number of people they must treat at a time. Closing schools is the humane thing to do.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!