March 9, 2020: SOESD has been coordinating with regional county health departments, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) regarding information and protocols to address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Oregon. As cases of COVID-19 are identified by OHA and local community health officials, we have been coordinating plans to address specific interventions in communities and school districts recommended by health officials and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
Over the weekend, OHA identified presumptive cases of COVID-19 in several communities where SOESD serves, including: Douglas, Jackson, and Klamath counties. Available information indicates there remain no known cases of COVID-19 in Douglas County, Jackson County, Josephine County, and Klamath County schools.
OHA and ODE recommend against canceling events or closing schools and campuses where no cases of COVID-19 are present. The CDC, OHA, local community health authorities, ODE, and school districts are recommending specific interventions found in the resources below, to protect you and students against the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections:
- Anyone with a fever or symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home until free of fever and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaners or wipes.
- Take care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
- A facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. It is not recommended that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the US.
The following resources answer questions about COVID-19 and using preventative measures:
- CDC – Fact sheet (English)
- CDC- Fact sheet (Español)
- CDC – Stop the spread of germs (English)
- CDC – Stop the spread of germs (Español)
SOESD plans to provide information at www.soesd.k12.or.us. As always, our highest concern is for the safety and protection of our children and staff.
Southern Oregon ESD Superintendent