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Northeast Ohio schools send letter to parents amid coronavirus concerns

Here's how Lakewood, Lorain and Rocky River are addressing the situation.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — As the coronavirus continues spreading globally, some schools here in Northeast Ohio have sent letters to parents addressing the current situation.

Below is the letter distributed by Lakewood City Schools:

Dear Parents/Guardians:

In everything we do, the safety of our students and staff is our top concern. In light of that, we want to share an important message about the coronavirus (COVID-19) illness. With the virus now spreading outside its origins in China, federal health officials are preparing for a likely outbreak in the United States. The District is monitoring the situation closely and is taking direction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ohio Department of Health and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health regarding mitigation procedures.

We are asking parents to help in the effort to minimize the spread of this type of virus by having your family follow the recommendations from the CDC, which are the same ones that everyone should practice during flu season:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Cover your nose and mouth: When coughing or sneezing cover with a tissue or by using your sleeve or elbow
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when sick and don’t return to school for at least 24 hours of being fever-free without the use of medication.

In addition, the school district is following recommendations from the CDC to daily clean areas and equipment frequently touched by students and staff, and encourage students to wash hands often. In addition, we will be adding extra hand sanitation dispensers in our cafeterias.

We also encourage parents to report if their child has a confirmed case of the flu to help us track viral infections and to better target our sanitizing efforts.

If we do experience COVID-19 cases, we will take our direction from the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and Cuyahoga Board of Health regarding potential school closings.

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Rocky River sent out the letter below:

Dear Parents and Guardians:

When making school-related decisions surrounding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), or any matter of public health, including school closure, cleaning protocol, and other recommendations, the Rocky River City School District (RRCSD) will always turn to the guidelines and recommendations of the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and, by extension, our county health department.

To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and flu, follow these important tips:

  • Stay home when you are sick. Please be fever free for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who 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.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Thank you for your continued support of the Rocky River City School District.

Lorain City Schools have also communicated with parents and guardians about coronavirus. 

We want to assure you that we, along with school districts across the state, are in contact with the Local Health Departments and the Ohio Department of Health to put proactive measures into place.

As of the writing of this email, there have been NO reported cases of COVID-19 in the state of Ohio. However, we believe it is our responsibility to share education about the prevention of the spread of disease.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. 

The Lorain City Schools routinely educate staff and students with strategies to stop the spread of germs. 

Lorain City Schools is also taking the following additional steps to keep our schools and students safe:

  • Hand sanitizer is available in our classrooms and in areas where soap and water are not available.
  • Custodial staff is increasing the frequency of their routine disinfection of common areas.
  • Nursing staff is working with principals to discuss preventative measures and answer questions.
  • Preventative information is being shared with parents and caregivers of all students.
  • COVID-19 information is being posted in some common areas in our buildings.
  • We will continue to work closely with our Local Health Department.
  • We will continuously monitor absences the situation, and we will update you regularly.

It can be difficult to decide whether to keep your child home from school when he or she is sick, especially when symptoms seem to be mild.

Our recommendation? When in doubt, keep them out.

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