Dear Parents and Guardians:
The school year is in full swing -- and unfortunately so is cold and flu season. However, there are preventative measures you can take as a line of defense.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following actions to help people stay healthy this year:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when sneezing or coughing.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat healthy foods and drink a lot of healthy liquids (avoid sodas).
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that could be contaminated.
- Get your flu shot.
Both the common cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses that are caused by different viruses. You can learn more about both from the CDC’s website.
Common Cold (https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html)
Influenza (flu) (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm)
There has also been a lot of talk about the Coronavirus this year. According to the CDC’s website: “The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.”
Yesterday, Nancy Messonnier, a director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated: “You should ask your children’s schools about their plans for school dismissals or school closures.”
I would like to be clear that closures of school due to the Coronavirus would only be considered at the direction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is not something that we decide in isolation.
In the event that we are directed to close by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, our closure plans would be the same as if there was a cancellation for a snow day. We would either cancel a school day and make it up at a later date or have a Flexible Instructional Day.
It is my hope that a school closure will not be needed. We will continue to monitor the CDC’s updates on the Coronavirus and follow their recommendations for schools.
We also ask that our families do their part to help maintain a healthy environment in our schools.
Please do not send your child to school if he or she has experienced:
- A fever of more than 100 degrees within the last 24 hours. Students must be fever free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school.
- Vomiting or diarrhea within the last 24 hours.
- Continuous coughing that is not relieved with cough medicine.
In addition, please do not send your child to school if he or she has been advised by a doctor to refrain from attending school for any medical reason.
The goal of keeping our schools healthy involves us all! Thank you for your cooperation.
Brian J. White, Jr., Ed.D.
Butler Area School District