Information About the Novel Coronavirus
We understand that the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, is causing anxiety in our community, state and the world. Linn-Mar Community School District is working closely with Linn County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.
Last updated: March 10th, 2020
At the time, there are five countries around the world that the CDC has identified as being a high risk (Level 3 Travel Health Notice) for the spread of the Coronavirus: China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.
We want to assure Linn-Mar families and staff that we are following the situation closely and will continue to provide updates if and when new information becomes available. Linn-Mar is in regular contact with state and local public health agencies and will keep our website up to date on this topic.
WHAT IS KNOWN
- Similar to influenza, the people who are most likely to have severe disease and complications from COVID-19 are believed to be the very old, very young and those with chronic or underlying medical conditions.
- There is no vaccine or treatment currently available for COVID-19, so prevention is very important.
- Currently, there are multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa. Experts predict there will eventually be community spread. IDPH, Linn County Public Health and Linn-Mar Community School District are preparing for when/if this happens.
HOW THE VIRUS SPREADS
- COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the common cold or flu spreads—through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes.
- People who are most at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 are those who have been in close contact (within about 6 feet) with someone who has the disease.
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
There are no travel advisories or restrictions pertaining to the Coronavirus, either internationally or within the United States. However, at this time, Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in nearly 100 countries and 35 states, including Iowa.
Before traveling, be sure to stay informed. For the latest information, please refer to the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health websites.The Iowa Department of Public Health recommends that anyone who visits those countries voluntarily self-isolates for 14 days upon their return to the US.
The Linn-Mar Community School District asks students and employees to follow these public health recommendations. If you visit one of those countries, or plan to in the near future, contact your medical provider as well as Leisa Breitfelder, Executive Director of Student Services.
Even if you are not traveling over spring break, there are some very basic things we should all be doing to help prevent the spread of virus:
- If you are sick, stay home.
- Cover your mouth with your upper arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands, often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
During spring break our custodial staff will be conducting a thorough, deep cleaning of all buildings including classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, hallways, offices, entryways, stairways, and athletic areas. Our transportation department is also treating every bus with a disinfectant at the end of each shift.
We remain vigilant, and we are prepared to make decisions based on current recommendations from local state and health officials. Finally, we will continue to monitor the spread of the Coronavirus as this continues to evolve.
We are working on contingency plans that we would implement if the Coronavirus would directly impact our schools. These contingency plans include field trips, travel for conferences, and even potential school cancellations. If these plans become necessary to implement, we will be sure to communicate with our families, staff and the community.
Find up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Iowa