Updated: March 11, 2020
Dear Breakthrough Community,
This week, city and county health officials confirmed three cases of COVID-19 in Cuyahoga County. All three, as well as six close contacts to the patients, have been quarantined at home.
As a reminder, the symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Please keep children exhibiting these symptoms home from school, notify the school of your child’s absence and seek medical attention from a healthcare professional. A child must be fever free, without fever-reducing medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.
Health authorities indicate that the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same recommendations for preventing the spread of the flu virus. The following steps, successful in preventing the spread of flu and the common cold, can also help prevent COVID-19, including:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding contact with people who are sick
- Staying home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider
With the safety of students and staff as our priority, we are announcing the following precautions:
Extra cleaning and disinfecting procedures: We have purchased special disinfectants to spray all heavily touched surfaces, including handles, rails, light switches, desks and tables. We also have made arrangements to fully clean and disinfect a school building should circumstances require it.
Major events: As a further precaution, we have cancelled any public events that would bring large numbers of outside visitors into a school, and we will notify affected parties of any such cancellations. (Not saying anything right now about normal after school events).
Staff and Student Travel: Given that Spring vacation is only ten days away, we also feel it’s important to set forth the following travel guidelines:
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that citizens avoid travel by cruise ship or to the handful of countries designated as Level 2 or higher health risks. As of March 11th, the following destinations have been labeled as a Level 2 or higher health risk:
- Most of Europe (Level 3)
- Japan (Level 2)
- China (Level 3)
- Iran (Level 3)
- South Korea (Level 3)
For any staff or students with intentions to take cruises or travel to countries subject to Level 2 or above warnings, please be advised that to protect our school communities, we will enforce a policy that such individuals will not be permitted to return to school before a self-quarantine period of 14 days from the date of your return to the US. Those staff members who elect to participate in travels encompassed by this policy will be permitted to use all forms of PTO during the self-quarantine, but will be unpaid for any days beyond their available PTO.
Please note: If additional countries are added to the Level 2 health risk list or if any domestic (US) destinations should be designated as high risk, the same policies will be in effect.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. With that in mind, we have compiled resources from our various Federal, state, and local partners (linked below) that can be helpful during these unprecedented times. On behalf of the entire Breakthrough network, thank you for entrusting us with the care of your children. We will keep you updated via our regular school communications channels as we learn more.
CEO, Breakthrough Public Schools
- What is coronavirus? (Source: Cleveland Clinic)
- What You Should Know (Source: CDC Guidelines)
- How to Protect Yourself & Your Family from Coronavirus (Source: Ohio Department of Health)
- Overview: Symptoms, Treatment, Travel (Source: Cuyahoga County Board of Health)
- Facts About Novel Coronavirus (Source: City of Cleveland, Department of Public Health)
- Ohio Department of Education FAQs
- Resources for Schools (Source: US Department of Education)
- How to Avoid Getting and Spreading the Virus (Source: University Hospitals)