We understand parents, students, staff and our community may have questions and concerns about the new coronavirus disease, now called COVID-19. At this time, the risk of becoming sick with COVID-19 is the United States is low. Be assured we are monitoring this situation and taking precautionary steps in the event the spread of this virus becomes a local concern. We are in coordination with other Minnesota school districts, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) regarding this public health concern to create preparation and response plans. This global situation is changing daily, so please know we will continue to update our community as information becomes available from the Center for Disease Control and state agencies.
Right now, we are in the prevention stage of managing a potential outbreak. Under the guidance of the MDH, we are recommending the following simple, everyday habits to help prevent the spread of illness throughout our school communities:
- As always, staff and students should stay home if they are feeling ill, have a fever of 100 degrees or more, or are exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue then properly dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Wash hands for 20 seconds under clean, running water to help prevent the spread of germs. Use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible.
- Do not share water bottles, other drink containers or utensils.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (ie: door handles and railings).
- Anyone planning travel should review the recommendations posted on CDC’s Travel Health Notices and keep an eye on the news for updates on this evolving situation.
Key district staff have met and will continue to prepare in the event of a district-wide response is needed. As always, the District will follow the recommendation provided by MDH.
For more information about COVID-19 and Minnesota schools, please visit: health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html.
Additionally, we recommend the following educational resources:
- World Health Organization has provided a brief video presentation about the Coronavirus
- TPT shared practical information from trusted medical sources in Coronavirus: an Almanac Special
- NPR has provided an educational cartoon just for kids
- Center for Disease Control has provided a video about how to effectively wash your hands