The Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) administration is preparing for COVID-19, a coronavirus strain. On March 3, Superintendent Brigid Nease released a statement listing the seven protocols that the administration is taking to prevent the spread of the virus. Here they are:
- The administration will contact all families and staff to determine if anyone traveled overseas within the last month.
- The administration will continue to enforce basic hygiene protocols. “That means making sure that everyone is washing their hands, covering their coughs and sneezes and staying home if they notice symptoms,” said Nease.
- The administration will implement a stronger disinfecting protocol that calls for wiping down surfaces more often.
- The administration will check the World Health Organization and CDC websites daily for updates.
- The administration will “begin thinking through critical questions that may impact our community’s operations,” said Nease. This means determining quarantine protocols. “Any students attending who present with symptoms will be isolated to the greatest degree possible and sent home,” said Nease.
- The administration will share a “heads-up” email message with families about what it’s doing “to prevent and prepare as the situation unfolds.”
- Finally, the administration will develop a document articulating the administration’s future plans “to ensure everyone is on the same page.” As Nease said in her statement, “If and when the situation does escalate, we will be able to put our plans into action quickly.”
Parents have asked if the administration will purchase masks for staff and students. “The district will not be providing masks to all students based on the guidance we have received, which is masks are not a particularly effective strategy for protecting individuals from contracting the coronavirus,” said Nease. Instead, the administration is opting for general health and wellness practices, putting an emphasis on hand-washing.
“We are monitoring new developments and will continue to reevaluate our steps and actions daily. In the meantime, the most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to follow basic health best practices like enforcing great hygiene, like washing hands thoroughly and covering up coughs/sneezes and asking all faculty, staff and students who are feeling ill to stay home until they recover,” said Nease.
Parents also want to know, in what situation would the board decide to cancel school? “Our local department of health will issue directives if it becomes necessary to close schools. … Otherwise, we will continue to use the protocols and common-sense responses that are used to navigate instances of student or staff illness,” said Nease. Currently the HUUSD does not have the resources to provide virtual learning platforms.
“In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength and togetherness of this community. Please continue to look for further communications from us on this matter,” said Nease.