City Schools addresses health concerns


Staff Report



GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis City Schools released a letter to families Wednesday addressing concerns surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ohio.

What follows is a copy of the letter provided to Ohio Valley Publishing by Gallipolis City Schools Superintendent Craig Wright:

The intent of this letter is to provide parents with general information about the coronavirus, and with some specific details about the district’s ongoing, longstanding efforts in addressing the spread of viruses.

Brief Summary:

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. The particular virus which is currently receiving media attention is a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. This particular coronavirus can feature symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. While the outbreak is believed to have an animal source, most cases are now likely to be spread from person to person by droplets, when coughing or sneezing.

Gov. DeWine’s Recommendations: March 10

K-12 Schools: Governor DeWine is not currently recommending the closure of elementary, middle and high schools, however school administrators should begin planning for that possibility. Parents should also begin planning for the potential that they may need to stay home with their children or find alternate child care solutions.

Athletics: Governor DeWine has recommended that all indoor high school, college, and professional sports competitions be held without spectators. He asks that events take place only with athletes, parents, sporting officials, and media. Right now, outdoor sporting events can continue as planned.

General Large Gatherings: Generally, Governor DeWine recommends that organizers of any events involving a large gathering of individuals in close proximity be canceled or postponed.

GCSD Actions to Reduce the Spread of Respiratory Viruses:

-Educate and emphasize the importance of the everyday personal prevention actions.

-Encourage and support staff, volunteers, and students to stay home when they are sick. Remind them to stay home and not come to school until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medications.

-Provide adequate supplies for good hygiene, including easy access to clean and functional hand-washing stations, soap, paper towels, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

-Encourage regular hand washing including when children arrive at school, before meals, after using the restroom and after coughing and sneezing.

-Minimize, where possible, close contact and the sharing of objects such as cups, food, and drink.

-Routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs, banisters, countertops, toys, faucet handles, and phones. Use the usual cleaning agents and follow the label directions.

-Provide members of school community with accurate information about novel coronavirus and steps they can take to protect themselves and their families. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

-Cover our coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).

-Limit close contact with people who are sick.

Summary:

In light of current information about the coronavirus, we are working with local agencies and the Ohio Department of Health to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. At this time, all large gatherings scheduled to take place in our schools have been postponed. All outside athletic events will continue as scheduled. These are recommendations made by Governor Mike DeWine. Efforts have already been made to increase the sanitation of our buildings. Although cleaning and disinfecting surfaces help prevent the spread of germs and viruses, the best defense against the spread of illnesses is to practice good hygiene. Please take the time to share this information with your children. Although there are only a few reported cases of the coronavirus in Ohio, it is important that we educate ourselves and others to avoid potential illnesses. If you want to learn more about these preventative measures, additional information about COVID-19 has been provided on our district website. Additional information about COVID-19 is available on the Ohio Department of Health website and the Center for Disease Control website.

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Staff Report