An Update Regarding the Coronavirus
March 4th, 2020
Dear Parents and Staff,
As you are likely aware, on Tuesday, February 25th, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave a press conference updating the country on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and what steps should be taken moving forward. We wanted to share with you some of the steps our school is taking to prevent the spread of illness across our campus, and plan for the possible spread of the coronavirus in our community.
Currently, the number of cases across the US is still small. However, given how quickly the global situation is evolving, we are monitoring new developments and will continue to reevaluate our steps and actions daily. An important reminder at this point is to hold to this truth - “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” - 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP. We will not react in fear - but we will walk in wisdom!
Of particular importance to us is how the virus spreads. According to the CDC:
Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.
Spreading from person-to-person
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Spreading from contact with infected surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
What we are doing to protect ourselves and our school from respiratory viruses
In the short term, we are taking several steps to help avoid the spread of any flu virus, including the coronavirus.
- We are continually discussing with GermBlast the procedures and steps to keep our students and staff members safe.
- We are carefully monitoring developments with the coronavirus and our nursing staff is in contact with state and local health departments.
- We are distributing sanitizer bottles in all classrooms and offices.
- We are distributing sanitation wipes to the staff so they can wipe down desks, doorknobs, and other common surfaces to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
What you can do
Prevention is our best defense against the spread of any respiratory virus, including the coronavirus. The most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to follow basic health best practices like:
- Enforcing great hygiene, like washing hands thoroughly and covering up coughs/sneezes
- Students, faculty, and staff who are ill must be kept home from school. If a student arrives at school with an illness, they will be sent home immediately.
- Students should not attend school if they have had a temperature (100 degrees or greater) within the past 24 hours. (No fever medication and fever-free for 24 hours.)
- If a student has had emesis in the past 24 hours, they must remain at home for 24 hours following the last emesis.
- Students will be sent home with a temperature of 100 degrees or greater, vomiting, multiple episodes of diarrhea, asthma symptoms not relieved via medication, multiple live lice, or any symptom suspicious of a communicable disease.
- Students cannot take medication without consent from parents.
- Students must not give medications of any kind to another student under any circumstances
- The Nurse does not call the parent/guardian in regard to every visit a student makes to the nurse. An email is sent to parents for a health concern needing attention. A phone call is made if parent/guardian contact is needed.
As a reminder, TCS reserves the right to send any student home who, in our opinion, would hinder or affect the health of an individual or class group.
We are also thinking ahead regarding the impact of mission trips, senior trip, and other school activities will have in the context of the coronavirus. We will communicate any changes affirmatively when the time is appropriate.
It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, or local governmental organizations should be followed.
In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength and togetherness of this community. Please continue to look for further communications from us on this matter.
Dr. Stephen Cox