Thursday, February 27, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a statement regarding the potential for the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. The CDC indicated the risk for students and the U.S. public is considered low at this time. However, the CDC is asking school officials, as well as childcare centers and businesses, to prepare for possible cases of COVID-19 in communities. While there are no confirmed cases in Maryland or our neighboring states, Governor Hogan announced today that there are two individuals in Maryland who are being tested for the virus.
FCPS is working closely with the Frederick County Health Department and following the guidance provided by the CDC and Maryland Department of Health to monitor the situation and implement appropriate measures to protect our school community. Additionally, we are collaborating with the Maryland State Department of Education regarding specific strategies for the school environment.
According to the CDC, most people get infected with viruses in the coronavirus family at some point in their lives. The COVID-19 strain, initially concentrated in China, can have a more severe impact in terms of respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The CDC is still studying how the 2019 novel (new) strain spreads, although it is thought to be spread much like the flu.
The cleaning products FCPS regularly uses are effective for addressing COVID-19 on surfaces. The school system ensures that our custodial staff regularly clean classrooms and common areas to safeguard student and staff health.
FCPS is reviewing our existing pandemic response plan and making any necessary revisions to respond to COVID-19. The plan is dynamic, with updates expected as new information becomes available.
Please take the following steps to help prevent the spread of germs:
*Wash hands often with soap and water at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
*Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
*Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash and wash hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
*Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
*Stay home when you are sick (at least 24 hours after there are no signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication).
Below are links to resources with additional information: