February 27, 2020
Dear EPS Families and Staff,
We have received a few questions expressing concerns about COVID-19, the “coronavirus,” and want to provide you with information about our process and procedures regarding health issues such as this.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) collaboratively take the lead on decisions regarding school closures or other impact on schools that could result from outbreaks of contagious conditions. They monitor 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.
We are in the prevention stage of managing for a potential outbreak of coronavirus and have 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 districtwide response is needed. The surface disinfectant cleaners used in our school buildings is effective against the family of viruses that includes coronavirus.
It bears repeating that 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:
- Wash your hands
- Cover a cough
- Stay home when you are sick
- Keep kids home from school or activities when they are sick
Be assured that we will follow any recommendations from MDE and/or MDH regarding the coronavirus or any other contagious condition. You would receive communication from us via the same channels we use when weather causes school or program closures -- email, text, phone, social media and websites. Information about how to access assignments would also be shared if e-Learning Days are declared.
It is important that you and your family also plan how you would manage childcare, work and activities should schools or workplaces need to close. This report from NPR offers some good ideas and perspectives on how you might plan for your family. Also, for your information, here is a brief presentation by the World Health Organization that provides background on the coronavirus.
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.