March 6, 2020
Our office has just concluded a meeting with officials from the Gallia County Health Department and we are writing to provide you with an update about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Gallia County Local School District’s efforts to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff in our buildings.
Although cases of COVID-19 continue to be detected in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still considers the risk to the general American public to be low at this time. As of March 4, 2020, there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and the risk of corona is very low for children under the age of 19 years old.
We are working closely with the Gallia County Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health to monitor the situation and develop a coordinated and comprehensive public health plan to ensure we are prepared if cases arise in our schools or community. They will be providing surgical masks to be used as a precaution when a student exhibits respiratory symptoms (as hospitals do). The nurses, secretaries, and principals have been notified of the protocol to share out with our staff. While we do have protocols for medical pandemics which we are prepared to implement, additional public health recommendations will be implemented as needed. Updated information will be shared with the school community and posted on our website as it become available.
With regard to cleaning and disinfecting our buildings, we are increasing our typical protocols to disinfect common contact surfaces more frequently. Additionally, we are reminding students, especially our youngest learners, of proper handwashing steps and how to prevent the spread of illness, including measures below. In Ohio, we continue to be in the peak of flu season. The Gallia County Health recommends that individuals receive the flu vaccination and engage in everyday measures to prevent the spread of germs and avoid illness, such as:
- Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, followed by hand washing.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
These prevention measures will also be our best line of defense, if the time comes that we do see COVID-19 in our community. Additional information about COVID-19 is available on the Ohio Department of Health website and the Center of Disease Control website.
As we head toward spring break, we also know travel may be planned. Since we know that this virus is currently prevalent in other countries and areas of the U.S., we encourage you to check the CDC Travel Advisory page prior to your travels.