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Letter About Covid-19 Outbreak
Letter About Covid-19 Outbreak
Darrel Kohlman
Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We are writing to make you aware that our district is monitoring and planning for the potential impact that the new coronavirus may have on our community.  We value the health and safety of our Nemaha Central Family.  We are working closely with local and state officials.  We would encourage you to remain calm, focus on the facts, and seek information from the sources listed in this letter.

What do we know? Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new virus, so that we can better understand how it spreads and causes illness. The CDC considers this virus to be a serious public health concern. Updated travel information related to 2019-nCoV can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Prevention? There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19

•       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

•       Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

•       Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

•       Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

•       Stay home when you are sick, especially with a fever.

•       Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Symptoms

Information to date suggests that COVID-19 causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Local Response

Our district has been communicating with our County Health Department. These are the health professionals who determine more serious responses such as quarantines and even temporary school closure. They have provided the following guidelines for travel that may apply to the upcoming spring break: Schools with staff or students who have traveled outside of the United States as of February 25, 2020, and until all travel bans are lifted, should check in with their local public health department about their travel history, and follow the guidance from the public health department regarding isolation or quarantine measures In the event of school closure, district policies and guidelines from the Kansas State Department of Education will be followed. 

Conclusion

This is an emerging, rapidly changing situation. For questions please contact your local department of health or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. We encourage you to keep up to date about COVID-19, its treatment and prevention by visiting the following websites:

Nemaha County Community Health Services: http://ks-nemaha.manatron.com/Services/CommunityHealthServices/tabid/10353/Default.aspx

CDC’s Dedicated COVID-19 Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Kansas Department of Health and Environment-Coronavirus: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/index.htm