Some of the things we have been doing and recommend as we approach our Spring Break.
(Madison, Ind.) - As the news continues to unfold around the COVID-19 virus or Coronavirus, we wanted to assure you we are taking every possible precaution to keep your children and our staff as healthy as possible.
Here are some of the things we have been doing throughout the district and recommend as we approach our Spring Break:
Personal Hygiene and Prevention Measures
We ask for your help at home to remind your child to:
● WASH HANDS with warm water and soap - as OFTEN as possible. This is our best defense against spreading germs!!
● Cover their mouth when they cough and/or sneeze.
● Keep unwashed hands away from their eyes, nose, and mouth.
● Keep their hands to themselves, especially when not feeling well.
● Do not eat or drink after others.
Self-Monitor Family Health:
We strive to have all children in school each day, however, if your student is not feeling well; please consider these things before you send them to school:
● Do they have a fever?
● Do they have a prolonged, ongoing dry or productive cough?
● Have they been vomiting or presenting with diarrhea?
If so, has it been 24 hours since their last episode? If the answers to any of these are yes, then you may want to consider a visit to your family physician and we ask that you keep them home from school until they are symptom-free.
Testing for Virus
If you feel as though you have been exposed to the virus or have symptoms related to the virus, we highly encourage you to visit your physician or a professional healthcare provider to have your medical condition assessed.
Our custodial and transportation team members have continued to work hard to keep all areas of student occupied areas as clean and disinfected as possible, with additional, daily attention placed on high-touch areas. Building custodians are working to increase cleaning of high-touch, high traffic areas with additional disinfectant measures. This includes desktops, chairs, water fountains, restrooms, cafeteria tables, as well as, many other areas. Buses are disinfected twice daily following morning and afternoon routes daily.
Upcoming Travel Precautions
We know families have planned trips over the upcoming break. We ask everyone to use caution as they travel, both domestically and abroad. There are two non-school sponsored student trips taking place over Spring Break, which means students have chosen to participate and have been made aware of the risks associated with international travel at this time. These trips are arranged through EF Educational Tour Company who is monitoring the international situation closely. In a recent correspondence to one of our trip sponsors, the tour company assured “EF will always make decisions in the interest of safety and would never put its customers or Tour directors at risk. I will, of course, update you with any other information as we hear. The one bit of advice that I would suggest would be for the group to bring hand sanitizer from the States as it may not be available locally.” Both groups are traveling to areas which, to this point, have seen a minimal impact from the COVID-19 virus.
We do ask EVERYONE who is traveling over the break to continue diligent self-monitoring of your family’s health closely. At this time, we are not testing staff or students, but are continuing to closely monitor the daily, routine things that come into our nurse’s offices and following the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for reporting anything alarming to our local health authorities.
We monitor daily attendance and seek feedback from the building administrator and school nurse if/when they feel there is a spike in any illness activity resulting in days out of school. If you remember, earlier in the school year there was a concern of flu-like symptoms at Rykers’ Ridge Elementary so we closed the school on a Friday, utilized an eLearning day, and custodians did a deep clean in the building.
We will continue to monitor the state recommendations and guidelines coming from the State Board of Health, Governor’s Office, and Department of Education as it relates to school safety in the midst of this situation. We are watching as colleges and universities are moving away from face-to-face classes to online forums following their breaks over the next several weeks. At this time, we feel a decision on the matter at a local level would be premature. As with other decisions of this nature, we will follow state guidelines should they make a decision that is different from that in the next few weeks.
We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with our community healthcare professionals in the event this becomes a concern. We are confident we have plans in place should the need arise that we would need to address a localized, heightened awareness situation.
Please use caution when filtering all of the information available to you through news and online sources. As always, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has excellent, up to date information on the developing factual data around the COVID- 19 virus. Here is a link to a fact sheet resource from the CDC website about What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
We appreciate your assistance with these simple prevention methods in order to keep everyone as healthy as possible.