Message from the Superintendent
Coronavirus Update and Health Guidelines: March 5, 2020
Dear OUSD Community:
As I'm sure you're aware, the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus that is affecting people throughout the world. Although coronaviruses are a group of viruses that aren’t new, this is a new type of coronavirus that we are still learning about.
Please be aware that the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. We continue to receive guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Orange County Department of Education, and local agencies to protect your health.
Staff is involved with ongoing conference calls with representatives from the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) to remain up-to-date on the current COVID-19 situation and general recommendations for Orange County K-12 schools. While officials say the risk to the general public is currently low, OCHCA acknowledges the situation is rapidly evolving, and our district is closely monitoring developments. We understand that news reports about COVID-19 have elevated concerns within our school community, and we want to assure you that we are committed to protecting students and staff in learning environments that are safe and inclusive.
We have increased the availability of hand sanitizer in classrooms and remain committed to daily cleaning routines that help prevent the spread of illness in classrooms and in common areas, such as gyms. Additionally, we are working with OCDE and other local agencies to update our emergency plans, which include a section to address issues and needs that could arise during a pandemic.
We are committed to continue to work in concert with our partner agencies to determine the appropriate steps to keep our students and staff safe. More information is available on our website at https://www.orangeusd.org/parent-community-corner/covid-19.
For information and news as it develops, please visit the Orange County Health Care Agency website at ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus. They are also on Twitter and Facebook.
OCHCA staff is also available to answer questions Monday through Friday between 8AM and 5PM via their Health Referral Line: 1-800-564-8448.
Thank you in advance for your partnership.
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Steps you can take
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. However, the CDC recommends these proven steps to help stop the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.)
This remains a rapidly evolving situation, and there is still a lot we still don’t know, including how and when Orange County may be impacted. Our district will post new information on our website and social media as it becomes available. In addition, be sure to connect with these resources: