Shakopee Public Schools COVID-19 "Coronavirus" Information: March 4, 2020
March 4, 2020 - Dear Shakopee Public Schools Community, I know you may have questions and concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Shakopee Public Schools is monitoring this situation daily and is following the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), both of which are now scheduling weekly conference calls to provide us with updates about the situation. According to the MDH, no cases have been confirmed in Minnesota at this time.
The MDH provides guidance on decisions regarding school closures or other impacts on schools that could result from outbreaks of contagious conditions. The agency monitors local and national health concerns and their connection with major health organizations means they have access to more relevant and up-to-date information than individual school districts do. Shakopee schools will not be tracking the travel of families/students/staff. However, we will be in close contact with the MDH and will be alerted about any suspected cases of the illness that may impact our school community.
We are in the prevention stage of managing for a potential outbreak of Coronavirus, and have some standards and protocols already in place as it is influenza season. Key district leadership have met and are continuing to discuss and prepare in the event that a district-wide response is needed. Additionally, in an effort to be prepared for a variety of contingencies, the district has ordered additional disinfectant chemical products that will disinfect and kill emerging pathogens; the type associated with Coronavirus.
The most significant things you can do to protect yourself and your family from contagious conditions are the same preventative practices that we promote every year during cold and flu season:
- As always, staff and students should stay home if they are feeling ill, have a fever of 100 degrees or more, or are exhibiting flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Use your own water bottle - do not share.
- Cover a cough. Cough or sneeze into an elbow or use a tissue and place immediately in the trash.
- Staff and students should not participate in activities when they are sick
We are also monitoring our upcoming student trips that are taking place abroad. Any future changes that may be needed will be determined based on CDC warnings and advisories, along with advice from our travel companies. As we approach spring break, we are sharing the information on the CDC website regarding travel, which is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. More information on the Coronavirus is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. If you have additional questions about the situation in Minnesota, you may contact the Minnesota Department of Health's hotline at 651-201-5414.
Please be assured that we will follow any recommendations from MDE and/or MDH regarding the Coronavirus or any other contagious condition. If there is any impact to our schools, you will receive communication from us via the same channels we use when weather causes school or program closures -- email, text, phone call, social media, and websites.
Here are additional links you may also find helpful:
- Brief presentation by the World Health Organization that provides background on the Coronavirus
- A CDC tutorial on proper handwashing
- This report from NPR offers some good ideas and perspectives on how you might plan for your family.
- Hand hygiene print materials
We know this is on your minds and is the top of the news every night. We will provide an update if we anticipate an impact on our schools, students, or staff.
~Mike Redmond | Superintendent of Shakopee Public Schools~
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