Dear Lakeside Families,
Based on the directive given by Gov. Wolf on March 12 due to the current spread of COVID-19 in Montgomery County, school will be closed for the next two weeks. In the meantime, schools will provide remote learning to students beginning on Monday, March 16 and continuing through Friday, March 27. A SchoolMessenger voice message, text and email will be sent to all school families with details.
You are likely aware of the news concerning the coronavirus outbreak in China and subsequent positive cases in the United States, as it has attracted quite a bit of media coverage. We wanted to let you know that while there’s no information that regional coronavirus COVID-19 activity is imminent, we’ve begun to plan should a response be needed. Here is some information that we’d like to share with you today:
- We will be following guidance from the State and County Departments of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it is provided.
- The CDC has issued some recommendations to the public which can be reviewed here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html .
- There are no plans to close schools at this time. Closing school is an extreme measure that can be disruptive to day-to-day life, and the decision to implement will be at the direction of public health experts.
The CDC is still studying how the virus spreads, though it is thought at this point to be spread much like the flu. Practicing good hygiene can help to limit the spread of viruses in our schools. The virus may live on surfaces such as desks and doorknobs, so as a safeguard, custodial staff will continue to regularly clean classrooms and common areas.
The current recommended precautions to avoid exposure to the virus are the same precautions you would take to avoid the flu. To keep your family safe:
- 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.
- Stay home when you are sick and do not return to work or school until you have been fever- free without the use of fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours.
- Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash; if tissues aren’t available, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The safety of our students, staff, and community are at the forefront of our planning. We will continue to plan, and we are prepared to communicate specific guidance if it is needed. Most importantly, we will continue to operate with calm and normalcy as there is no reason yet to do otherwise. Please partner with us to keep our students and school family calm and safe as more information emerges, or should we need a more focused response in days to come.
Vice President of Educational Services