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April 1: Update from Dr. Reidy, BC Health Officer

Dear Caregivers and Staff,


The following letter is provided from Dr. Terrence Reidy, Health Officer of the Berkeley-Morgan County Board of Health.


Health information and safety reminders are included. You are encouraged to review and practice the tips provided to stay healthy and safe.


Be well, stay safe.


Dr. Patrick K. Murphy,

Superintendent of Schools

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Berkeley/Morgan County Board of Health

122 Waverly Ct Martinsburg, West Virginia 25403-1214

304-263-5131

April 1, 2020

Dear Caregivers and Staff,


COVID-19 is present in Berkeley County with a rapid daily increase in the number of people with this infection. Infection has been identified in a few individuals who are associated with the school system. This has been expected since students, employees and volunteers are as likely as everyone else to be infected.


Drastically minimizing physical contact with others is still the best way to decrease how rapidly this infection spreads.


Any person who was identified as having close contact with an infected employee/volunteer/student will be contacted individually. If you or your family members experience any of the following symptoms, please self-isolate and contact your health care provider:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath


When to Seek Medical Attention:

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face


*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.


Additional Information from the CDC**:

Take steps to protect yourself.


Clean your hands often.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


Avoid close contact.


Take steps to protect others.


Stay home if you’re sick.


Cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.


Wear a facemask if you are sick.

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.


Clean and disinfect.

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.


Thank you in advance for helping this school year be as healthy as possible.

Sincerely,

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Terrence Reidy, MD, MPH Health Officer

This communication contains the most current information available at this time: April 1, 2020 at 1 pm.

Berkeley County Schools

Berkeley County Schools, now 19,600 students strong, and growing, boasts a diverse population recognized statewide for great success in academics, the arts and athletics.


This newsletter is a publication of the Berkeley County Schools' Communications Office.