Downey Health Office

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School Nurse: Jasmine Emery, RN

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COVID-19 Update

March 6, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

Today, Governor Tom Wolf confirmed the first two presumptive positive cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania and reminded residents that the commonwealth is prepared to respond to community spread of this virus.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that schools across the United States should begin preparing for the possible threat of Coronavirus. While the news of Coronavirus has everyone on high alert, it is important to note that there are other respiratory viruses such as influenza currently circulating in our schools. Fever, coughing and difficulty breathing are all symptoms of influenza and do not necessarily mean that a person has contracted Coronavirus.

As of the issuance of this letter, the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health are not recommending that schools implement special measures beyond the usual suggestions for limiting the spread of illness.

We are asking parents and guardians in our school community to follow these recommended strategies to prevent the spread of colds, influenza, and any other communicable illnesses:
*Keep children home from school when they exhibit cold and flu-like symptoms.
*Encourage frequent hand-washing with anti-bacterial soap.
*Refrain from touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
*Refrain from sharing food with others.

At the School District and school building/classroom level, staff have been directed to do the following:

*Review hand-washing techniques with students.
*Continue to provide anti-bacterial soap in classrooms and bathrooms.
*Daily cleaning by custodial staff
*Vigilant monitoring of the student body by school nurses, especially in cases where students exhibit symptoms associated with the virus.

For further information from the CDC click HERE or see the attached fact sheets.

ENGLISH: What you need to know about Coronavirus

SPANISH: Lo que necesita saber sobre la enfermedad del Coronavirus

We will continue to update you with additional information as it becomes available from the CDC and/or the PA Department of Health. 
Mr. Chris Celmer
Acting Superintendent
Harrisburg School District