We know you are concerned about the current air quality, and we too share your concern. We want to keep you informed on the current status of school closures in Santa Clara County.
We have monitored the air quality index throughout the evening. We will continue to monitor and assess these numbers throughout the day. We continue to consult with and consider the guidance of the Public Health Department.
While some schools will close, Campbell Union High School District will remain open.
We are aware that many local colleges, universities and private schools have elected to close their doors. Some local public school districts have decided to close. We are also mindful that schools provide necessary shelter and food. We closely monitor the conditions with our schools and schools offer a safer place for children. Conditions within our county vary from district to district. As a result, some districts will remain open.
Please be aware that while some school doors will remain open, we ask that families and schools follow medical and environmental advice, especially if your child suffers from respiratory or heart-related issues, or if there is a concern or hardship in bringing your child to school. The schools who remain open are giving parents a choice whether to send their child to school or to keep their children at home. We are staying open for parents who cannot do otherwise. Parents are the best judge of their individual child’s needs, we understand and support that parents are in the best position to make decision about their individual child, should they decide to keep their child at home the absence will be excused.
Whether you are at home at or at school we recommend that you follow environmental advice provided by AirNow.gov located here.
For families in communities where there are school closures, we make the following recommendations:
- Stay indoors in an area with filtered air. Particle pollution can get indoors, so consider purchasing an air cleaner if you live in an area with high levels of particle pollution.
- Air cleaners that remove particles include high-efficiency mechanical filters and electronic air cleaners, such as electrostatic precipitators. Avoid using an air cleaner that works by generating ozone, which will increase the pollution in your home.
- If you do not have air cleaners in your home, try to go somewhere that does have air filtration. This could, for example, be a friend’s home, if it has air filtration.
- Please keep your families indoors and limit outdoor and or strenuous activity.
Drink plenty of water.
- Watch your child for symptoms including coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and chest tightness. Even children who do not have asthma can experience these symptoms.
- If symptoms occur, your child might need to take a break, do a less intense activity, stop all activity, go indoors, or use quick-relief medicine as prescribed. If symptoms don’t improve, get medical help.
We thank you for your concern. However, we must remain a support for all families within Santa Clara County. We share your desire to keep all children safe, and we will inform you when our current assessment changes.
Here are the most current recommendations from the County of Santa Clara Public Health.
Avoid Breathing Wildfire Smoke - HEALTH ADVISORY
November 9, 2018
Lea el Aviso de Salud en Español
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department is advising residents to take precautions due to visible smoke in the air. Wildfires in California are causing air pollution throughout the Bay Area.
If you smell smoke, protect your health by avoiding exposure. If possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside. Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside. Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses. Elevated particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from respiratory conditions, such as asthma or emphysema/COPD. It is recommended that parents and school administrators check air quality readings before allowing children to practice outdoor sports while air quality is unhealthy.
Elderly persons, children and individuals with respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible to elevated air pollution levels and should take extra precautions to avoid exposure.
When air quality is Yellow, or Moderate, air quality is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
Due to the active wildfires and changing wind patterns, air quality could be variable and unpredictable. Air quality may improve at times or get worse, very quickly. Check the latest air quality data for your area by searching your location at airnow.gov.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Winter Spare the Air Alert asking residents to avoid adding additional air pollution activities such as lawn mowing, leaf blowing, driving, and barbecuing. Burning wood, firelogs, pellets, or any other solid fuels in your fireplace, woodstove, or other wood-burning device is illegal during a WinterSpare the Air Alert.
Residents may have questions about using masks to help with protection from wildfire smoke. The most important thing you can do is to stay indoors as much as possible when you smell or see smoke in the air. If you work outdoors or prolonged outdoor activity is unavoidable, and there is heavy smoke, certain masks (for example, properly fitted N-95 masks) can protect against harmful exposure. Masks such as the N-95 are not effective for untrained users and may be more harmful than helpful for people with lung or heart conditions. Employees should work with their employers for direction on when/how to use N-95 masks. Bandanas and typical surgical masks DO NOT protect against wildfire smoke particles.
Real time air quality from United States Environmental Protection Agency Air Now
Wildfire Safety Tips are available from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Information on masks for those who expect significant exposure to smoke from the California Department of Public Health
Air quality forecasts and health advisories from state Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Follow the Public Health Department on Facebook for updates