Center for Disease Control Update
Dear Gillispie Families,
I am providing an update after the Center for Disease Control’s February 25 report to the American public on the coronavirus (COVID-19). Though the number of cases in the United States remains low and the virus is not as severe as first expected, CDC officials noted that it is likely that COVID-19 will spread across United States communities. Thus, it is important that we thoughtfully consider ways at school and home to keep ourselves well.
As the CDC emphasized, there is not currently a coronavirus pandemic in the United States. A pandemic occurs when a disease is spreading from a variety of sources across a large region, and the number of cases across the U.S. is still small. Student safety is our highest priority, and we are establishing protocols if the coronavirus does spread in San Diego County. Any information that needs to be shared with our community will come through the Gillispie Sun and Special Notices, the School’s website, and our Alert Now automated texts and phone notifications. In the interim, Gillispie is also taking measures to keep high-use areas and surfaces clean and teaching children hygienic practices (such as handwashing).
For families at home, this article offers some practical reminders and advice. In terms of travel advice and other important topics, the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) websites provide warnings and status checks.
As a school, we are monitoring the County of San Diego/Health and Human Services and San Diego County Office of Education websites as well as the aforementioned sites. It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the WHO, CDC, or local government organizations will be followed by Gillispie School.
As a reminder, if your child is sick, please keep them home. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, please follow these important tips:
- If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water; use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
- Encourage your children not to share personal items like drinking cups.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
As a community, let us care for one another and support each other as we work through this time of concern.
Alison Fleming, Head of School