The following information was sent to all District 97 families and staff in the Weekly Wrap-Up newsletter on Friday, March 6, 2020:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updates and Resources from District 97
The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. District 97 is continuing to monitor the news regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), and we have been following recommended protocols from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will keep the community informed of any updates or changes in recommendations from these agencies.
What We're Doing
- We have mobilized our pandemic planning team to monitor updates about coronavirus and ensure that our safety and response plan for pandemic infection control is up-to-date and ready to be deployed.
- On Feb. 26, we shared information with staff and families about coronavirus that included everyday actions to help prevent the spread of viruses. Click here to view the communication >
- School nurses and teachers are reviewing handwashing best practices with students and we have printed handwashing posters from the CDC for all of our bathrooms.
- Our Buildings and Grounds staff members are performing routine deep cleaning and disinfecting in all of our buildings.
- School principals and staff are closely monitoring attendance for trends in reported illnesses among students and staff.
- Students or staff members will be sent home if they exhibit any of the following symptoms: temperature of 100 degrees or higher; significant upper respiratory infection symptoms; rashes or scratches for unknown reasons, with a fever; red eyes that are draining; diarrhea or vomiting.
Disrupting Stigma and Racism Related to Coronavirus
As we continue to discuss coronavirus, we also want to be mindful of the stereotyping, racism and discrimination that is often attached to outbreaks of infectious disease.
The CDC states, "Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma (1) toward people, places, or things. For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.
"It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19 than other Americans. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community." (Source: CDC - Stigma and Resilience)