Vancouver resident Sally Snyder discusses procedures currently being used and considered by the Vancouver School District in cooperation with Clark County Public Health officials
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
The first time I called in to speak at a Clark County Council meeting was when Columbia River High School partnered with Ridgefield School District and the Clark County Public Health department for a vaccine clinic partnership at Ridgefield. Columbia River hid the clinic from parents. They emailed COVID-19 vaccination documentation only to the student’s school emails, encouraging students to schedule their own appointments, fill out an anonymous form, and contact Clark County Public Health department for questions, or message the school on Instagram. Never once referring kids to their parents. All verifiable emails sent only to kids’ school inboxes and public records requests showing the Vancouver School District knew three weeks prior to the clinic that they would be participating in it, yet they chose to only email parents about the clinic partnership after the bus left River and after the clinic had started.
There are more questionable dealings going on with the Vancouver School District and the Clark County Public Health Department.
On Dec. 1 an article ran in local papers titled “Vancouver schools to host Covid test sites.” The article said, “with the help of Clark County Public Health the district is vetting possible partners….” Do you know this article was released prior to Embry Health (the partner) pulling proper permits with the Clark County Public Health department? Vancouver School District allowed PODS to be delivered onto Thomas Jefferson and Alki middle school parking lots this same morning for the COVID testing clinic program. Parents asked why this process was proceeding for 22 COVID testing clinics in school parking lots, when Embry Health was shut down in Hawaii on Nov. 5, 2021 for conducting improper COVID-19 testing.
Three hours later, VPS sent a press release to all parents retracting the COVID-19 testing clinics, saying they were on hold. Why would Clark County Public Health consider a partnership with an organization (Embry Health) who received a $207,000 fine and was ordered to cease and desist for conducting unauthorized COVID-19 testing in Hawaii on Nov. 5, 2021? A public records request showed the Alki start date was 11/29/21 through 6/15/22 and this contract stated “Embry Health could possibly vaccinate for COVID-19 and the Flu.” Why were these PODS only advertised as test sites?
On Dec. 16, Vancouver Public Schools emailed all parents that effective immediately, they would pause all wrestling activities as the Clark County Public Health recommended this action. The email goes on to say they would re-evaluate this decision after the new year and work with the Clark County Public Health to discuss the possibility of resuming wrestling activities. Why don’t parents get to discuss with the Clark County Public Health department the possibility of resuming wrestling activities, but the school district gets to negotiate this?
On Dec. 17, Vancouver Public Schools sent out another email to parents stating changes to COVID-19 testing for basketball, wrestling (currently paused) and cheerleading would require COVID-19 testing THREE times a week regardless of vaccination status. Now it’s up to 57 COVID tests for unvaccinated kids to participate in both basketball and wrestling and at least 16 COVID tests for the current vaccinated kids to play basketball.
Then last week, Vancouver Public Schools said they would be submitting an application to the Clark County Public Health to participate in the OPTIONAL “Test To Stay’’ in school program. Which goes like this; if you are deemed a close contact at school, and you want to stay in school during your quarantine time, you can agree to COVID test two times a week and remain in school, but you can’t do sports. How does this make any sense? You can go to school for six hours a day during the quarantine period, but you can’t play in a basketball game? When kids have to COVID test three times a week now. Testing intervals should be determined under advisement of the local health jurisdiction (LHJ) and stated in the memorandum of agreement (MOA) per the Supplemental Considerations to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission in K-12 Schools. Do you think Clark County Public Health will deny VPS the MOA for this OPTIONAL Test To Stay in school program, or approve it?
Will the Clark County Council do a thorough investigation into the shady dealings going on between the Clark County Public Health department and the school district? Children don’t deserve any of this as part of their education or their participation to be in school sports.
Lastly, Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University said he considers the omicron variant to be like a common cold. Americans will likely see a high level of contagiousness, but a low level of severity.
Call in to the Clark County Public Health department meeting on Tue., Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. to participate in public comment and/or listen to the meeting.