(Updated March 12, 2020) District's Response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus

March 12, 2020 @ 3:34pm

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This morning Governor Kate Brown released a statement to address the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus in the State of Oregon. She shared that her goal was to slow down the transmission of the disease and preserve hospital’s capacity to effectively respond to potential and/or confirmed cased of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

While there are no confirmed cases in our area the new guidance from Governor Brown and Oregon Department of Education will affect the typical operations of schools. Please note this situation is continuously evolving. We will do our best to provide up to date information as it becomes available. Updated information will be provided on the Coos Bay School District website and Facebook page. At the Governors recommendation the following will be implemented:

  • Schools will remain open
  • All field trips will be cancelled for the next 30 days. Trips scheduled after that time frame will be individually announced or announced at a later date.
  • Large gatherings such as music concerts, carnivals, math nights etc. will be cancelled.
  • Sport competitions will include participants only. NO FANS! For updated information, please check the Coos Bay School District website and Facebook page.

We understand that these announcements are concerning to you. We continue to take precautionary steps to enhance our already rigorous cleaning schedule to include daily disinfecting and sanitizing of all school environments, as well as focusing on handwashing and good hygiene practices with students and staff for blowing our nose, coughing, or sneezing. We are also placing reminders for good hygiene practices and supporting our staff and students to frequently use handwashing stations. Please assist us by helping your student remain healthy by implementing the following preventative measures recommended from health officials:

  • Practice good hand hygiene and help your student learn to wash their hands really well. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. You can also cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, dishes, towels or other items. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
  • Practice good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

As a reminder it is important to keep students at home when they are ill. If your student has any of the following please keep them home from school: Temperature of 100.4, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from the eye and any contagious illness such as the chicken pox, strep throat or the flu. If you have concerns about your student’s illness, please contact your local health authorities are advising families to seek medical attention.

We encourage you to continue to send your student to school if they are healthy. Should you decide to keep your student at home please call the office to report the absence and develop a plan to ensure you student stays on track with their learning.

For more information on the COVID-19 Coronavirus you may find the following resources helpful:

We know you will likely have many questions and we will attempt to answer some of them below. Please know that we are doing everything we can to keep our students and staff healthy and safe. Thank you for your partnership in that effort.

Respectfully,

Bryan Trendell

Coos Bay Public Schools

Superintendent

Frequently-Asked Questions

Question: How is COVID-19 Spread and what are the symptoms?

Answer:Although the exact mechanisms of transmission are not fully known, other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:
  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes

Infected people have experienced a range of illness, from mild (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions. 

People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing

If you have symptoms, call your healthcare provider to identify the safest way to receive care. Let them know if you have traveled to an affected area or come in contact with an ill person who has traveled to an affected area within the last 14 days.

Question: Why wouldn’t you close the school to avoid having so many people in one place? 

Answer: Updated guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and County Public Health is that because COVID-19 is in the community, closing a school may not be an effective method of stopping the spread of the virus. 

We will continue with our enhanced cleaning efforts, reinforcing health hygiene expectations with students, and asking students and staff to stay home if they are ill. Those actions are thought to be the most beneficial in keeping people healthy and stopping the spread of the virus.
 
Question: What exactly do you mean by enhanced cleaning?
 
Answer: We are having an external custodial team come in the school to conduct an additional cleaning of the building today - focusing on high touch point areas.
 
Question: I haven’t been asked to self-quarantine by the Health Department, but I’m concerned about my personal medical situation. What should I do?
 
Answer: Please consult with your medical provider for guidance around your personal situation.
 
End of March 12, 2020 update
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March 9, 2020
 
Dear Coos Bay Community, 
 
I want to take this opportunity to update you all on information regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus. We are in daily contact with the Oregon Health Authority, ODE, and our local health authority to have the most up to date information. You can also get up to date information from the Coos Health and Wellness Website
 
Based on current information provided from the State and the CDC, we do not face any imminent concerns at this time. We do want to encourage and remind you and your families to continue with best practices for prevention of any cold or flu viruses. Here is a letter from our District Nursing Coordinator that outlines these best practices as well as provides links to resources for you to gather more information. 

Our facilities and maintenance director and his team have developed their plan for cleaning and sanitizing protocols. We have the necessary materials in stock and are prepared to be proactive as well as respond should there be a case here locally in our schools. 
 
The Coos Bay School District has policies and procedures in place to guide us through circumstances such as these. Even so, we will continue to take our lead from the Public Health Authority at the State and local level as well as the Oregon Department of Education. This may include temporarily closing schools for cleaning purposes to help slow the spread of any virus. We will continue to communicate any information that comes our way to prepare as a community for the potential spread of this virus. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we look to keep our students, staff, and community safe and healthy. 
 
Bryan Trendell
Coos Bay Schools
Superintendent

Attached Files