Howard-Winneshiek Community School
1000 Schroder Drive Cresco, IA 52136
March 5, 2020
We understand that the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID -19, is causing much anxiety in our community, state and the world. Howard -Winneshiek Community School District is working closely with the Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.
WHAT IS KNOWN
- The virus causing COVID -19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified, and causes a respiratory illness ranging from a mild cold -like illness to severe respiratory disease.
- 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 other chronic or underlying medical conditions.
- There is no vaccine or treatment currently available for COVID -19, so prevention is very important.
- Currently, there are NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa. However, experts predict there will eventually be community spread. IDPH, and Howard -Winneshiek 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).
WHAT You CAN Do Now
- Keep children home when they are sick.
- Students (and parents/guardians) who are ill, especially with acute respiratory symptoms (not allergies or chronic conditions), should stay home.
- Teach your children to always cover their cough and sneezes with a tissue or elbow.
- Remind them to wash their hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) after they touch their face, use the restroom and before they eat.
- Tell children to avoid touching their mouth and nose since that is how germs get into the body.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (everyday household disinfectants are fine).
- Enhance cleaning of high touch surfaces like door knobs, toilet handles and sink handles.
- Plan for when community spread occurs.
- Ensure you have a plan to designate a caregiver, such as a family member or neighbor, for a sick child(ren) if you can't stay home.
- Know your child's school plan to communicate with you when needed, such as robocalls, email or checking their website.