March 10, 2020
Iowa Department of Public Health Guidance
Iowa Department of Public Health is asking individuals who have traveled to China or Iran are being placed into a 14-day quarantine. Iowans returning from a country where novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading to voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days following their return. Areas in this travel notice currently include Italy, Japan, and South Korea.
This is a rapidly evolving health situation, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s website for the most up-to-date travel information. At this present time, the CDC does not have any guidance on restricting travel in the United States. Again, this is current information and may change when you return from your trip. If you have questions regarding travel, please call your local health department. If you live in Polk County, please call (515) 286-3890. As a parent and guardian of a child, you are welcome to make your own decisions on whether or not to cancel your trip.
Letter from Dr. Brad Buck
As we near Spring Break scheduled from March 16-20, Waukee Community Schools (WCSD) continues to follow the global outbreak of COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus. Many staff and families may have planned trips out of state or even out of the country, which could impact the spread of the virus.
As of March 10, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identified five countries around the world as being a high risk for the spread of Coronavirus: China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommends that anyone who visits those countries voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
Families who plan to travel to any of these areas should notify their school to make arrangements for the student’s re-entry to school. In addition, families who visit any destination the CDC has identified as high risk for Coronavirus should follow its public health recommendations.
There are currently no other travel advisories or restrictions pertaining to Coronavirus, either internationally or within the United States. However, at this time, Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in nearly 100 countries and 35 states, including Iowa. Before traveling, be sure to stay informed.
The IDPH, CDC, and Polk County Health (PCPH) provide timely resources to school districts. This information is critical to prepare and respond as needed. Where you get your information about this virus is important. Look for information from reliable and trusted experts. Social media posts often report partial or inaccurate information.
- World Health Organization
- World Health Organization-Coronavirus FAQ
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Iowa Department of Public Health
- Polk County Health Department
For the latest WCSD information, please visit waukeeschools.org/coronavirus/
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Whether or not you plan to travel over Spring Break, families and community members can help by following these simple, easy steps that help prevent the spread of ALL contagious viruses, including COVID-19. Practice the same routine hygiene used to help prevent the cold and flu.
In the meantime, whether you are traveling or not, there are some very basic things we should all be doing to help prevent the spread of viruses:
- If you are sick, stay home.
- Cover your mouth with your upper arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
While there are many legitimate concerns about Coronavirus, being well informed and taking some preventive steps can keep everyone healthy and safe.
Waukee CSD is in regular contact with state and local public health agencies and will share new information as it is available.