District 25 Superintendent Sends ‘Abundance of Caution’ Email Explaining 1 Family Is Staying Home from 4 Schools Due to Possible Coronavirus Risk

District 25 Superintendent Lori D. Bein notified District 25 staff and families via email Sunday night, March 1, 2020 that two staff members and their children, who are connected to District 25 schools as either staff members or students, interacted with a person who has a family member that was exposed to a coronavirus patient while working at a hospital.

A babysitter for the staff members’ children is a family member, who is employed at a hospital where the patient was “diagnosed with coronavirus,” according to Lori D. Bein.

None of the staff members, their children, the babysitter, or the hospital employee have any symptoms currently, according to the superintendent. Bein did not mention what hospital employed the babysitter’s family member.

Bein said that out of abundance of caution, the two employees and the students will stay home and self-monitor their symptoms, and that they have been in contact with their physicians. Bein did not say how many days the staff members and students are expected to be away from the District 25 schools, which were reported to be Dryden, Ivy Hill, Greenbrier, and Olive Mary Stitt.

Bein also reported that she has been working directly with the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and the Village of Arlington Heights. Bein said that the CCDPH has informed her that there is nothing additional that District 25 can do at this time. Compare this communication to District 214’s communication, which emailed parents and guardians Friday, February 28, 2020, explaining that building and grounds teams are actively cleaning and sanitizing ‘high touch’ places in the buildings such as desks, handrails, doorknobs, computer keyboards, faucet handles, and phones, etc. The CDC has also published the “Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” which includes recommending routinely cleaning touched surfaces and providing disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down by students and staff before each use.

Ensure handwashing strategies include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. CDC offers several free handwashing resources that include health promotion materials, information on proper handwashing technique, and tips for families to help children develop good handwashing habits.

— CDC

Bein recommended the following health practices …

Students should stay home if they are sick until at least 24 hours after there is not longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications).

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth with your sleeve, not your hand.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

Do not share eating utensils or drinking containers.

Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Bein also asked families at District 25 reporting an absence to provide a detailed reason (describing symptoms) on the absence line.

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