Coronavirus COVID19 Update #2
Temecula Valley Unified School District 3/5/2020
Good Evening TVUSD Community,
Temecula Valley Unified School District, in partnership with Riverside University Health Systems, Public Health Department (County Public Health) and other state and regional agencies, continue to closely monitor the novel coronavirus COVID-19. TVUSD participates in a weekly conference call with County Public Health officials and receives daily summary alerts.
Following yesterday’s call, everything continues to remain the status quo. The rapid development of the Novel Coronavirus has created yet another set of unprecedented challenges and stresses for our community. The 24-hour news and social media cycles have contributed to our collective stress and fears. Things are changing by the day. As such, the district will make all attempts to keep you informed and updated as soon as it knows.
WHAT WE KNOW
- There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in TVUSD schools or Riverside County.
- While the Riverside County Public Health Department acknowledges that the "situation is rapidly evolving," officials still believe the risk to the general public remains low.
- The Riverside County Public Health Department has stated that school districts do not need to alter any plans at this time. This means that we do not need to cancel social gatherings, events, or daily activities until instructed to do so.
- TVUSD custodial staff already follows proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques on a daily basis. However, out of an abundance of caution, we as a school district are drafting plans to provide for additional cleaning of TVUSD classrooms.
- District staff is continuing to develop plans should the need to close schools arise. Such a directive would be done in coordination with the Riverside County Public Health Department and the Riverside County Department of Education.
- All TVUSD students, families, and staff should practice good health hygiene which includes washing your hands, staying home if you are sick, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not hands).
- Updates from the Riverside County Public Health Department are available at https://rivcoph.org/coronavirus. You can also call 2-1-1- within Riverside County for information and updates.
Colleagues, students, and families thank you for your partnership during this community-wide concern. Below, please see the answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received this week.
Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 and TVUSD Schools
Q: Are additional sanitization procedures taking place at sites and in classrooms?
A: Temecula Valley USD follows all recommended cleaning procedures for educational settings. Custodial leads and maintenance staff have reviewed cleaning procedures and are adhering to all district procedures and nightly inspection schedules. Some of these procedures include actions such as restocking hand sanitizer in school offices, and universal spaces (library, etc.…) and refilling soap dispensers throughout the day.
Q: Are alcohol-based hand sanitizers allowed in TVUSD schools?
A: Yes. For more details from the California Department of Education please click here.
Q: What if my child says the school bathroom is out of soap. What should I do?
A: Contact your school office as soon as possible so custodial staff can address and refill as necessary.
Q: Does the District have an emergency response plan specifically for pandemics?
A: Yes. As part of our Safe Schools Planning efforts, there is a Pandemic Planning Guide. Staff last used these protocols during the H1N1 Flu pandemic. The administrative staff is currently reviewing those guidelines and updating sections as needed. It is important to note, specific pandemic response activities will be highly dependent on emerging data and direction provided by health authorities. As with any emergency plan, this is a living document and will be subject to updates as this pandemic develops.
Q: How are student absences being handled?
A: All absences due to illnesses are excused with parent confirmation, per California Education Code outlined in our District Board Policies and Parent/Student Handbooks. Additionally, our Student Welfare and Success Division are currently monitoring absences and analyzing for patterns. As of today, Temecula Valley USD has not experienced an increase in illness based on attendance rates.
Q. How do school sites handle requests for Independent Study (IS) related to coronavirus fears?
A: If you are requesting independent study for a medical reason, please contact your student’s school site for procedures. Please know these types of independent study requests would require a medical recommendation from a physician, and the District would follow the steps as outlined in District Board Policy. Currently, the risk for our student population to contract COVID-19 remains very low. Vulnerable populations are those with chronic underlying health conditions, recent international travel and known exposure to a person with COVID-19 virus.
Q: Who will make the decision to close schools?
A: If an outbreak occurs that affects our community, and school closures are recommended or ordered, decisions will be made, at the direction of County Public Health following discussions with the school district and Public Health professionals. We will also consider guidance from the California Department of Education. TVUSD is unable to know if or when individuals are exposed to any illness, which is why we follow guidelines from expert agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the County Public Health.
Q: If, in a worst-case scenario, a school gets shut down, what” distance learning” protocols are being considered?
A: In the event of a school closing, as a result of the novel coronavirus, the District is currently exploring distance learning options to best meet the needs of all staff, students, and families. Should this become our reality, we will be communicating clearly with all staff, students, and families regarding the process and expectations for continuous learning.
Q: Are there any plans to alter or cancel travel, field trips, school dances, etc... due to concerns?
A: As of today, there are no recommendations from public health officials to cancel public events or field trips. Lastly, we are aware that concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. Helping children cope with this concern and anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm. Therefore, we have linked here for you, “How to Talk to Children about COVID19” resource from the National Association of School Psychologist.
Q: With the upcoming spring break plans, what do families, students, and staff need to know?
A: For information on travel plans you or families might be planning for Spring Break, please consult the US State Department's website for travel guidelines. If someone travels to an area that is currently on the travel watch list, families returning are responsible for self-reporting. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province--china.html