Dear ICS Families,
As you are likely aware, new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are likely in Pennsylvania. While it has been reported that there are no confirmed cases of the disease in Pennsylvania, we don’t really know that for sure, as Coronavirus test kits have been limited. Testing is expanding and we are hopeful for more accurate information soon.
We are taking extra precautions at ICS to disinfect surfaces in our school and we are guiding students in handwashing several times per day. We are closely monitoring the health and attendance of our students and staff and preparing for any potential disruptions to school operations in an effort to minimize the spread of the disease.
When to seek medical evaluation and advice
While the number of cases is increasing, the vast majority of the illnesses around the world are mild, with fever and cough. If you or a family member has symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular medical provider. It is recommended that you not go to the emergency room unless there is a critical need. U.S. Public Health also recommends seeking medical advice if you are over the age of 60 and have an underlying medical condition.
How to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Coronaviruses, including COVID-19, spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via coughing or sneezing. It may also spread by touching a surface or object with the virus on it. The same good health habits that prevent other viruses like the flu, also prevent the spread of COVID-19 and decrease the risk of getting sick:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, with 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand), then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
Keep students home if they are running a temperature or they report not feeling well or appear weak or ill.
Consult your health care provider if you or your child has health conditions that put you at increased risk.
Wearing Masks Public health agencies currently do not recommend that people wear masks when they are in public. This is because the immediate health risk to the general public is currently low. Additionally, scientists are not sure whether wearing a mask in public actually keeps healthy people from getting sick. It’s most important for people who are sick to wear a mask in a healthcare setting (such as a waiting room) to avoid exposing other people when they cough or sneeze.
ICS continues to follow the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in our response to COVID -19. As soon as new information becomes available, we will let you know. We all have a role to play in keeping students, staff, and families healthy and safe. You can help by staying informed, practicing good hygiene, and staying home or keeping children home if they have been running a fever or are exhibiting signs of a fever.
What if my child misses several days of school due to illness? As with the flu or other illness resulting in an extended absence, should your child become ill the absence will be excused. Please be assured that as a parent or legal guardian, you have the right to excuse your student’s absence. If you approach the excused absence limit due to illness, we will document that a plan is in place for your child to return when they are healthy.
Would you like resources to share with your children?
Here’s an informative graphic resource from NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus We are committed to keeping you informed and working with you to keep our school community safe!