Healthy Schools Edition V1N1
In the Pass Christian School District, we believe students excel when all are accepted, valued, and SAFE. Part of being safe includes taking necessary precautions during flu and cold season as well as when facing the potential threat of other infectious diseases or illnesses such as COVID-19.
District officials continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and federal health officials with regard to all communicable diseases. While we are not aware of any confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in our state, we continue to remind our school community that the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same preventions that are recommended for the spread of the flu and common cold.
According to the CDC, "COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus, and we are learning more about it every day. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. At this point, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through everyday practices is the best way to keep people healthy."
We encourage students and staff to use the following guidance to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- Encourage 20-second hand-washing by staff and student
- Teach and encourage the “cover your cough” method
- Promote the use of tissues when sneezing, coughing, or blowing their nose and discarding tissue after one use
- Encourage staff and students to get their annual flu shot
- Wipe down classroom manipulatives and toys at home daily
- Clean common surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and keyboards
- A student or staff member who displays signs or symptoms of illness will be encouraged to see their health care provider
- No student or staff member shall return to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine, even if they feel better
The CDC indicates, "Schools, working together with local health departments, have an important role in slowing the spread of diseases to help ensure students have safe and healthy learning environments. Schools serve students, staff, and visitors from throughout the community. All of these people may have close contact in the school setting, often sharing spaces, equipment, and supplies." There is currently 1presumptive case of COVID-19 in Mississippi. However, the MDE is in contact with the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH), the state epidemiologist, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding preventive measures and preparation in the event of a local outbreak."
At this time most people in the United States have little immediate risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. However, some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma towards Chinese or other Asian Americans. Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease.
Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. We can fight stigma and help not hurt others by providing social support. We can communicate the facts that being Chinese or Asian American does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.
Additional safety updates will be provided as needed via our social media outlets, district website, and student handouts. For more information, please see the resource list below. Thank you for support. #keephandsclean
Pass Christian School District Administration
What are Symptoms of COVID-19?
• shortness of breath
HAVE QUESTIONS? A call center at the Mississippi State Department of Health is now available for the general public at 1-877-978-6453 to answer questions about COVID-19 questions.
Protecting Our Pirate Learners and FaculStaff
Basic infection control in school settings should always be promoted and maintained. You can help protect our Pirate Learners from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions such as:
- Hand hygiene - Students and staff are encouraged to wash hands often (for at least 20 seconds) with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing. If soap and water is unavailable, sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol may be used.
- Respiratory etiquette- MSDH and CDC recommend covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or a shirt sleeve or elbow if no tissue is available) and throwing the tissue in the trash after use, followed by hand washing for at least 20 seconds.
- Routine Cleaning- School custodial staff have been directed to routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with the cleaners they typically use. Cleaning should take place immediately if there is contamination of surfaces with blood, stool or vomit. The CDC recommends personal protective equipment as part of universal precautions when cleaning body fluid spills.
- Separate Ill Students and Staff - Students and staff who seem to have flu symptoms will be separated from others until they can be sent home. CDC recommends personal protective equipment as part of universal precautions when caring for infected individuals.
- Stay Home When Sick - Those with flu-like symptoms, including respiratory symptoms, should stay home from work or school and seek medical attention if the symptoms get worse. This includes uncontrolled temperature, difficulty breathing, worsening headache, unusual muscle weakness, or seizure activity. Remain home until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Mississippi Department of Education
- Safe and Orderly Schools 601-359-1028
- Healthy Schools 601-359-1737
Center for Disease Control
- MSDH Coronavirus page: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420.html
- CDC Coronavirus Situation Summary: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html
- CDC Coronavirus Cases in the U.S.: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
- CDC Coronavirus FAQs: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
- CDC What to Do If You Are Sick with Coronavirus Disease: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html