Educators at schools that remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak can help students stay healthy and focused on learning:
- Note that there have been reports of students and others being stigmatized. We urge educators and schools to ensure student and staff privacy to help prevent discrimination.
- Help students remain calm and understand the facts about COVID-19.
- In the event that a student or staff member is identified who has symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever and cough, take the following steps:
– Separate the individual from others as much as possible and make arrangements for the individual to go home, and
– Alert your administrators who should contact the local health department immediately.
- Encourage all students, parents and staff to take everyday preventive actions:
– Stay home when sick. Remain at home until a fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
– Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, such as a high fever or difficulty breathing.
- Encourage handwashing with soap for at least 20 seconds. If needed, schedule time for handwashing and provide adequate supplies. Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol can also be used.
- Encourage students to avoid touching their face, especially eyes, nose and mouth, and to cough/sneeze into their elbow or into a tissue that is thrown away immediately.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches.
- Encourage flu vaccine for those who haven’t had it this season to reduce illnesses (though it won’t prevent coronavirus illnesses).
- Check if your school has updated policies to respond to outbreaks and communicable diseases, including establishing relationships with the local public health department for ongoing communication.