Update on COVID-19 (3/8/20)
Late this afternoon, Governor Reynolds announced that there are three presumptive positive cases of Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) in Johnson County. Immediately after the announcement, we reached out to Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) regarding the news. As the situation continues to develop we will remain in close contact with their team, as well as representatives from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and follow any guidance that is received from their experts.
We will continue to monitor the situation daily and plan to follow up with families and staff on Monday with any additional information that we have. Please reference our most recent communication to families and staff regarding COVID-19 below, which was sent on Friday, March 6, 2020.
The Iowa City Community School District continues to work closely with Johnson County Public Health (JCPH), the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and our legal counsel to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff in regard to upcoming student trips. We received the following guidance from IDPH on March 5, 2020, about Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) and how travel has been impacted by this disease.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently recommending that schools postpone or cancel all international trips.
- The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is currently recommending that schools should consider postponing or canceling trips within the US that could expose students and staff to potential community spread of COVID-19.
- The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) states that schools should consult with IDPH or their local health department to discuss the COVID-19 risk associated with specific out of state travel locations.
- The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is currently recommending that students and staff returning from travel to areas with community spread of COVID-19 must follow guidance they have received from public health.
It is our recommendation after reviewing this guidance and consulting with legal counsel that all international student trips be postponed or canceled until further notice. Trip participants need to contact the travel company organizing their trip to discuss refund or transfer options. Furthermore, we will continue to monitor the information that is provided from IDPH regarding domestic travel and plan to provide an update specific to this early next week.
We are monitoring this situation daily and will follow up with additional information on the return to school process for students and staff that choose to travel. The return to school process will be based on guidance from JCPH, IDPH, CDC, and the World Health Organization.