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Update on COVID-19 (3/5/20)

We understand that the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, continues to cause much anxiety in our community, our state, and the world. As a district, we are operating in a state of preparedness and continue to work closely with Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. 

What is Known

  • The virus causing COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified and causes respiratory illness ranging from a mild cold-like illness to severe respiratory disease.
  • Similar to influenza, the people who are most likely to have severe disease and complications from COVID-19 are believed to be the very old, very young and those with other chronic or underlying medical conditions.
  • There is no vaccine or treatment currently available for COVID-19, so prevention is very important.
  • Currently, there are NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa. However, experts predict there will eventually be community spread. IDPH, JCPH and our district are preparing for when/if this happens. 

How The Virus Spreads

  • COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the common cold or flu spreads—through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes.
  • People who are most at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 are those who have been in close contact (within about 6 feet) with someone who has the disease. 
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). 

What You Can Do Now

  • Keep children home when they are sick.
    • Students (and parents/guardians) who are ill, especially with acute respiratory symptoms (not allergies or chronic conditions), should stay home.  This is especially important when any of the following symptoms are present:
      • Fever at or above 100.0
      • Vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • NOTE: Do not return to school or work until being free of any of these symptoms without the use of medication for 24 hours.
    • Teach your children to always cover their cough and sneezes with a tissue or elbow.
    • Remind them to wash their hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) after they touch their face, use the restroom and before they eat.
    • Tell children to avoid touching their mouths and nose since that is how germs get into the body.
    • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (everyday household disinfectants are fine).
      • Enhance cleaning of high touch surfaces like door knobs, toilet handles and sink handles. 

The most up-to-date state information about COVID-19 can be found on the Iowa Department of Public Health Coronavirus Webpage and on the Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Webpage.  You can find the District’s Pandemic or Infectious Disease Plan on our website at https://www.iowacityschools.org/Page/18654

We will continue to move through this together, and be responsive to our local, state, and federal health experts as they guide us through this process.