SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 10, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City School District says it’s preparing for the possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local school operations.
In a letter addressed to parents and families, school district Superintendent Lexie Cunningham said the district is “keeping a close eye on the situation” with an emphasis on keeping “students and schools healthy.”
“Our district leadership is formulating plans for how to continue to meet our students’ needs in the unlikely event that the spread of COVID-19 increases to the point that we need to close a school or multiple schools,” Cunningham said.
“We know many families rely on us for more than just education. For that reason, in addition to exploring whether our district could handle holding remote or online classes, we are also reaching out to local partners to find ways to provide meals for students who depend on our breakfast and lunch programs.
“We will keep you apprised of these plans as they take shape,” the email said.
The district said custodial staffs were already taking sanitation measures to minimize virus exposure risks inside the schools, “focusing special attention on common touch points, such as door handles, windows, lockers, sinks, lunch tables, counters, and restrooms.
“Our custodial supervisors are making sure our schools are stocked with soap, hand sanitizer, and cleaning agents that are safe for students, but are also effective in quickly killing germs.”
Cunningham wrote that “While the the number of cases in the United States continues to climb, state health officials say the risk of contracting the disease in Utah remains low.
“However, there have been a couple of developments in the past few days,” she said, referring to two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in northern Utah.
“Over the weekend, officials announced the first case of COVD-19 in Utah: an individual in Davis County. This morning, the Utah Department of Health and the Weber-Morgan Health Department announced Utah’s second case of COVID-19,” Cunningham said, “… both individuals are over 60 years of age who have recently traveled abroad. One patient is in isolation at a hospital and the other is in isolation at home.”
Cunningham ended her statement by encouraging people to “keep doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” including:
- Stay home if you are sick, and keep your students home if they are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.
For more information about COVID-19 check out these websites:
- State of Utah website: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/
- Salt Lake County Health Department website: https://slco.org/health/COVID-19/
- Centers for Disease Control website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html