District Coronavirus Letter

District Coronavirus Prevention
Posted on 03/06/2020
CoronavirusDear CM 201-U Families & Community:

As new developments arise in the spread of COVID-19 in Illinois, Crete-Monee School District continues its prevention stage of managing the potential for an outbreak of the coronavirus. Every step we’ve taken over the past couple of weeks has been with thoughtful preparation. I have been conferring with our district leadership, principals, and health department to plan for the possibility of a school closure should anyone within our schools become exposed to the virus. For now, thankfully, there have been no reported cases in District 201-U.

COVID-19, or coronavirus, is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus and there is currently no vaccine to protect against it. Health officials say the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. Stopping the spread of the virus through everyday prevention practices remains the best way to combat the illness. Crete-Monee School District 201-U is committed to working collaboratively with local health officials to protect our children and slow the spread of the virus through awareness and prevention.

PREVENTION

The District has taken the following preventative steps to reduce the risk of the virus:
  • Cleaning of District Buildings: District administration has ordered a deep clean of classrooms and high traffic areas. Custodial staff has been directed to exercise due diligence in closely following guidelines and procedures to clean and disinfect buildings.

  • Hand Sanitizer in Schools: The Business Office has purchased alcohol-based sanitizer wipes for every classroom in the District.

  • Avoiding Contact with Sick People: Building and District administrators have been asked to send home students or staff who come to school sick.

  • Tracking & Monitoring Absenteeism: District administration is monitoring sick ‘call-offs’ by staff and students. School nurses have been asked to maintain a detailed log of the reason for the absences and to pay special attention to reports of fever or flu-like symptoms. This preemptive measure is recommended by health officials to track patterns of absenteeism.
As with any contagious illness like coronavirus, basic hygiene practices go a long way in stopping the spread of disease. We encourage everyone to practice good habits, including:
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Wash for 20 seconds, using soap and hot water. Wash your fingertips.

  • Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.

  • As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

  • If children are feeling sick, please keep them home from school. Allow them some time to feel better so that they do not risk infecting others.

  • If you or someone you know has been in contact with someone exposed to the virus, please self-quarantine and contact your health care professional immediately.

IN THE EVENT OF SCHOOL CLOSURE

Senior administration has also met to plan for the possibility of an extended closure. In the event of a confirmed case of coronavirus in our schools, parents and staff would be notified with guidelines for next steps, per the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dismissal/closure recommendations will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the most up-todate information and its impact on the community.
  • Expediting E-Learning Process: The District will hold a public hearing for E-Learning on March 17th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 35 at District Office. The required hearing will precede the school board meeting in which the Board of Education will adopt a resolution to use E-Learning days in lieu of emergency days. Once approved, the E-Learning plan will be submitted to the Regional Office of Education and can be implemented should we need to close schools.

  • District Safety Teams: The Office of District Affairs is convening a meeting of the District Safety Teams (DST) in each building to review plans in the event of a school closure.

  • Updates from Health Partners: I continue to receive regular updates and guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Will County Regional Office of Education (ROE).

While the coronavirus news is concerning, we believe it is important to point out that other respiratory viruses like influenza are currently circulating in Illinois. Fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing are symptoms associated with all of them. Therefore, anyone exhibiting these symptoms should not be assumed to have COVID-19. If your student, or anyone in your family, develops such symptoms, we urge you to contact your medical provider immediately.

As we continue to be in contact with local health officials and monitor this situation, we will provide updates to our community should it become necessary. As always, I thank you for your support of our district, our schools, our students and our teachers and staff.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kara Coglianese
Superintendent

RESOURCES

Here are links for more information on the coronavirus outbreak:

Centers for Disease Control:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Illinois Department of Public Health:
http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus

Will County Health Department:
https://www.willcountyillinois.com/County-Offices/Public-Health-and-Safety
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