• 79°

ECSS issues letter on preventive safety measures

Escambia County Schools (Ala.) officials released a letter to parents and guardians today to reinforce the system’s preventive safety measures in regard to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Superintendent John Knott said in the letter that at this time, there have only been a smalln number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States.

“As a school district, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from the Alabama Department of Health, the Emergency Management System, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Education,” Knott said. “There is curreently no recommendation to close schools in Alabama.”

Knott said the system encourages students, staff and families to be mindful of key preventive measures.

Additionally, the CDC has tips on its website that can be useful in avoiding the spread of this and other illnesses, Knott said.

Preventive measures include:

• cleaning your hands often, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing;

• avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;

• avoid close contact with people who are sick;

• stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care;

• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow;

• throw used tissues in the trash;

• clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

Additionally, the system asks if children are sick, they should not be at school, and be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to class after any illness.

Knott said the system has looked and reviewed its measures and procedures to combat the spread of illnesses. He said each school has worked diligently to clean and sanitize high-use areas.

Students will be going on spring break in a matter of a couple of weeks, and Knott said the system is monitoring field trip destinations and will make determinations on their level of sanitzation.

Knott said resources are available on the system’s website – www.escambiak12.net – that talk about preventive measures.

Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Eddie Tyler released the following letter to parents this morning:

“Following up on my previous note addressing the coronavirus, I want you to know that while I have great confidence in our country’s ability to successfully deal with the coronavirus, student safety here in Baldwin County is our top priority. This is why we are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread or contamination within our school facilities. This includes employee education, hand sanitizing as well as higher frequency and deeper sanitation in all of our educational environments. Please encourage these practices not only at school but at home.

At this time, we are not aware of any infected persons within the Baldwin County Public School System. The Baldwin County Board of Education will continue to monitor the CDC (CDC.gov) and ADPH advisories and follow all government directives. Please report any suspected symptoms or concerns to your local school principal.

As we approach spring break, I would ask our parents and families to please be aware of the CDC recommendations on travel. We know families have made plans, but we have great hope you will be aware of the areas in which there are high levels of the virus and follow government protocols with regard to quarantine. If you have questions in advance of returning from your travel, please seek advice from the appropriate health agencies. If anyone in your family is concerned about being symptomatic, please visit a local doctor immediately and report the same to your local school principal.

In times like these, our success depends upon each one of us showing a debt of responsibility to each other. I have great confidence in our country and our ability to overcome this challenge but only if we all work together to look out for not only our own best interest, but the interest of everyone in our community, including our schools. We will continue to provide you information as necessary.”