Coronavirus Preparedness & Health Precautions

The following letter was shared with K-12 parents, faculty, and staff at 4 p.m. Saturday, February 29 regarding the coronavirus COVID-19 and CDC recommendations.
Dear USN families,

We’ve been following the increased intensity of the coronavirus COVID-19 story day by day here at school, maintaining a focus on being prepared for what is inherently a difficult set of circumstances to predict with certainty. We’re following a range of sources, in regular contact with our friends at Vanderbilt University for advisories and Vanderbilt University Medical Center for a better understanding of the basic facts, in addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health agencies.

On the “what you can do” front, common sense guidelines about preventative practices for seasonal flu certainly apply. Remember it’s always helpful to commit to regular hand washing as well as stay home and consult your family physician when not feeling well. Our Health Room staff share precautions and school sick policies below. The CDC has posted a list of precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus

With Spring Break now two weeks away, keep in mind U.S. State Department advisories offer the best real-time guidance if your family has international travel plans and self-quarantine expectations in the highly unlikely event of travel to one of the most affected parts of the globe. We’ve already postponed our summer China trip for that reason and are monitoring updates that could affect the Spain trip. My sense is that we are all exercising an abundance of caution on that front, given the emerging headlines. 

Having just returned from a substantial national conference for schools, I heard innumerable and anxious conversations about plans in the event that we need at some future date to suspend classes on campus for a period of time. While there are no simple solutions for that type of scenario, rest assured that we’ll be ready to provide as much support as possible for our students in response should that be the case.

As children overhear us listening to news reports and discussing current events, our concerns can cause students to fret too. Here is a video that explains the virus to young minds in a way they can easily understand.

For the moment, we’ll continue to listen closely to our medical colleagues, we’ll confirm the well-being of our students as our primary focus, we’ll stay vigilant while we work to keep things in perspective, and we’ll remain available should any questions arise on your end.

Grateful for all the lines of support,
Vince Durnan

Reminders from the USN Health Room
Please keep students with fever, cough, and respiratory symptoms home until they are 24 hours fever-free (less than 100.4 degrees) or have no signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine and no vomiting or diarrhea. Click here for overviews of treatment and prevention of influenza, strep throat, and the common cold, which we commonly see this time of year.

Basic Hygiene Best Practices 
  • When washing hands: Wet hands. Turn off water. Soap and scrub for 30 to 60 seconds. Rinse well. Dry well.
  • Cough into the sleeve of your elbow or into tissues. If you cough into your hands, wash your hands immediately.
  • Wash with a general household cleaner to remove germs, then rinse with water, then clean surfaces and door handles with EPA approved products designated to kill flu viruses.

More USN News

List of 5 news stories.


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