Saturday, March 14, 2020
This article is to provide information on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The school district is currently following recommendations from the MN department of health, MN department of education, and the center for disease control.
Below is a link from the cdc that provides information on the guidance being given to schools -
Late this week MDH came out with some guidance and recommendations for school districts. These recommendations included: Reducing large gatherings, staggering arrival/dismissal times and recess, and students staying 6 feet away from one another.
The school district already has staggered times for arrival, departure and recess. We are also in the time of year where larger gatherings are greatly reduced and will monitor the events that do take place at the school.
Teachers and other staff members continue to teach and remind students about proper hygiene skills. This includes proper handwashing, covering mouths completely when coughing or sneezing, and other ways to help prevent the spread of germs.
The custodial staff is also disinfecting desks, door knobs and other common areas on a daily basis to help prevent the spread of germs.
Here are links on preventative measures that we are using within the school district and that you should be practicing at home as well.
As of yesterday there were 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. None of these cases have come from community transmission, meaning they are all travel related. MDH is suspecting that we will soon see community transmission and they are looking at ways for community mitigation. Some of these steps are limiting large gatherings, both in schools and communities.
In the coming days there will be more available testing for COVID-19, and with the additional testing available expect the number of confirmed cases to increase.
If you start to feel ill, the symptoms of COVID-19 are coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Here is a flyer from the CDC on the symptoms.
As of this time, the Minnesota Department of Health is not recommending school closures. There are a number of reasons why they are currently not recommending the closure of schools. Studies have shown that kids aged 19 and below have the lowest risk of infection from COVID-19. There are also greater large scale consequences of schools not being in session. If community transmission of the virus starts to take place, particular steps will be followed. Below is a link to a guide from the CDC on school closures, and MDH is currently following this.
As a district we will continue to monitor the situation and take guidance from MN department of health, MN department of education, and the center for disease control. There may be a time where the decision to have school open is not a local decision. The district is in process of working on contingency plans if this were to happen. These plans include trying to find ways to keep our food service program operating on a daily basis. We will continue to provide updates on the situation as more information becomes available.