The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) holds the well-being, health and safety of students and staff as our highest priority. With the recent national media attention on Coronavirus (COVID-19), we felt it important to provide you with the latest update. The risk remains low in Wisconsin and there are no current cases in Dane County. However, as the number of people with COVID-19 rises in the United States, federal and state health departments are encouraging school districts and communities to develop a plan for the spread of the disease. This plan is called a pandemic plan. We are in close communication with Public Health Madison and Dane County, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Department of Public Instruction.
MMSD administrators from various departments have been working together to update and review its current pandemic plan so that it is in better alignment with COVID-19. Originally developed in 2009 for the H1N1 disease, the current MMSD pandemic plan addresses what is done before, during, and after a potential outbreak, and will provide guidance if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in the Madison schools and community.
Public Health officials continue to recommend that the best approach to addressing COVID-19 is to take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of respiratory disease which includes influenza and COVID-19. The CDC recommends the annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. Other actions include:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Help your students to wash their hands well
- We will not be providing hand sanitizer as we are following the CDC's recommendation that soap and water is the best method for cleaning hands
- Do not drop off your sick child at school
- Stay home when you're sick
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
Health Services staff will continue to follow our current Health Services Guidelines around fever, cough and sore throat. If a student presents with these symptoms they will be advised to go home and return to school 24 hours after they are fever free. Here are MMSD’s recommendations on “When To Keep Your Child Home or Send Them To School”.
Our custodial staff will continue their routine clearing protocols, with additional attention to high-touch surfaces.
Talking to Your Student
Some schools are reporting an increase in the number of students with anxiety because of the information they are seeing and hearing about COVID-19 in the media. Here are some suggestions for talking with family members:
- Stick to the facts. It can be scary to hear about a disease outbreak, but learning the facts can help ease your mind.
- Help the student remain calm, and assure them their risk is low.
- Remind your family that it is best to be prepared in difficult situations.
- It is important to avoid assumptions or stereotypes about who you think might be sick. Viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds. A person’s race does not make them more or less likely to be sick or to get sick.
Additional Resource Links:
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