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Coronovirus Information

Coronavirus Information

I wanted to take a few minutes to write about the coronavirus and share information about what DV is doing related to this topic.  We have received information and guidance from the PA Department of Health, PA Department of Education, Pike County Emergency Management, and the Center for Disease Control among other organizations.  Less than 1% of people around the world with the coronavirus are children so that is a good thing.  The best ways to deal with the coronavirus are the same as the flu --- disinfect everything that you can, wash your hands often and keep your hands away from your face.

I heard a doctor on the radio yesterday say that 32 million Americans had the flu in the last year and 18,000 died from it.  Those are staggering numbers but haven’t received the media attention that the coronavirus has.  The elderly and those who are medically frail with issues such as weak respiratory systems and/or immune systems are the most vulnerable for both coronavirus and the flu.  We were hit hard by the flu this winter (Influenza A & B).  Our normal 92-95% student attendance dropped down to around 82-85% in some schools last month.

What are we doing as a district?

  • We have a backpack sprayer that sprays a disinfectant that kills 99% of all germs on contact, dries in 30 seconds, requires no wiping and is safe to use in schools.  This winter, we used it in every school twice to combat the flu.  It took a while to move this sprayer around the district but our attendance did improve after spraying.  We have ordered a sprayer for every school, DV transportation, Rohrer Bus Company and the athletic buildings (10 in total).  Thus, we can cover the entire district in one night if needed.  It will take some coordination and extra manpower but it is doable.

  • We have given the nurses spray bottles of Purell disinfectant so they can spray their offices throughout the day as kids come and go in their offices as a way to reduce the spread of germs.

  • We will continue to disinfect the cafeteria tables every day, which is part of our normal procedures.  We have table-top mops that are only used on the cafeteria tables along with disinfectant spray to sanitize them daily. We are going to increase this process to occur after breakfast and every lunch period as opposed to once a day.

  • We are going to place more hand sanitizers in prime locations such as bathrooms, cafeterias and hallways to encourage usage.

  • We are supplying the schools with micro-fiber cloths instead of cotton cloths for wiping down areas.  They come much cleaner after going through the wash when tested for germs after washing.

How is the school staff helping?

  • We are supplying the schools with plenty of anti-bacterial disinfectant wipes.  We are encouraging staff to wipe down the telephones, light switches, door knobs, computer keyboards, and any other frequently touched items in their classrooms/work areas.

  • We are asking the staff to keep reminding the students to: 

1) wash their hands with soap and water

2) don’t put their hands on their faces

3) sneeze into a tissue or their arm but not their hands

4) stay home when feeling sick or have a fever

  • We are encouraging staff to open windows and let some fresh air into their rooms

  • We have told staff to be sure to get kids outside during lunch (secondary), recess (elementary) and physical education (K-12); also, encourage secondary kids who don’t eat outside on the picnic tables (where available) to at least get outside for a few minutes after eating.

How can families help?

  • Please keep reminding your children to:

1) wash their hands with soap and water

2) don’t put their hands on their faces

3) sneeze into a tissue or their arm but not their hands

  • Please keep them home when feeling sick or have a fever

  • If you think your child might have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, please keep your child at home, notify your doctor and notify the school nurse.

Summary

I hope this information is helpful to you.  Please know we take this situation very seriously and are ramping up our cleaning procedures.  While we can’t make guarantees, the new steps we are implementing will make our schools cleaner and healthier places for our kids.  Below, you will find additional information from various governmental agencies.

Sincerely,

Dr. John J. Bell

Superintendent of Schools 

 

Center for Disease Control (CDC):

• https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/index.htm

World Health Organization (WHO):
• Coronavirus Updates and Information

Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH):  
• Website 

Pennsylvania Department of Education: