Message Regarding Coronavirus & Influenza
Dear New Summit Families,
At this point you have most likely heard through the news, social media or other sources about the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world. According to the CDC there have been about 100 cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the U.S. throughout 12 states. A majority of these cases were people who repatriated from China, where the virus originated, and from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship. As of today, March 2nd, there has not been any confirmed cases in Colorado and the overall risk to our citizens and especially to our students and families at NSCA remains low. Influenza continues to remain a far more likely cause for illness among our staff and students and we encourage you to review our Handbook and keep your students at home when they are ill.
The current update for influenza for the last week of February is that Colorado continues to have widespread activity, predominantly of Influenza A which is typical for this time of year. The flu season does not officially end until May, but hopefully we will begin to see a downward trend of cases over the next few weeks.
The health team at New Summit relies on information from the CDC and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for current information on local outbreaks and what precautions we should be taking to keep our students safe. There are more resources available at the District 20 website by following this link https://www.asd20.org/preventing-illness.
The current CDPHE recommendation is that we continue implementing the same practices as we would during a regular flu season:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, especially before and after eating and after touching surfaces you know have been touched often by other people.
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean frequently any surfaces or objects that are touched (don’t forget computers, cell phones and door handles)
- Stay home if you are sick and keep your student home if he/she shows signs of illness.
- Avoid close contact with other people that may be sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Get a flu vaccination.
A common question asked at this point by both parents and students is – do we have masks available for the students to wear to protect them from becoming ill. The answer to that is no. At this point it is not a recommendation by the CDC that individuals who are NOT showing signs of illness wear a mask. We do provide masks to students that present to the health room with fevers and active coughing to wear prior to being picked up by a parent/guardian. We also have masks available for our health room staff to wear to protect them from illness when a student presents with symptoms of influenza. If these recommendations change we will re-evaluate our current practice.
To reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, we have reinforced efforts to clean and disinfect high contact areas, such as lunchrooms, classrooms and bathrooms. We have also educated and encouraged the teachers to allow time for students to wash hands and wash them often. These practices will remain a high priority at NSCA.
We will continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 as well as influenza. As always, we are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for students, staff and community. We will share pertinent updates as needed.
Sharon Begin, MS, APN, FNP-BC | New Summit Charter Academy
Lead School Nurse | firstname.lastname@example.org