March 6, 2020
Dear RVUSD Families,
Rincon Valley Union School District continues to be in close contact with the Sonoma County Health Department and the Sonoma County Office of Education to obtain the most current guidance related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
We know some of our families are employed by Keysight and your concern about COVID-19 may be heightened by yesterday’s Press Democrat online article about Keysight Technologies, one of the largest employers in Santa Rosa, closing to clean their facility as a result of one of their employees having flu-like symptoms. Those symptoms are similar to the symptoms of COVID-19, and this employee was a passenger on the same cruise ship that has had confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its passengers (the Grand Princess cruise from San Francisco to Mexico in February).
On Thursday, March 5th district leaders met with Sonoma County Public Health Officer Dr. Phillip for an in depth conversation and update on COVID-19. We gained insight on the following points which have all been verified through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 that affect any of the students or staff in our schools.
While information thus far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, older people and people with certain underlying health conditions seem to be at greater risk of serious illness. It is our understanding that COVID-19 has less impact on our young people. Students without underlying health concerns are in the lowest risk group.
School districts can make case-by-case decisions to exclude students, staff, or community members from school or school events as a precautionary measure.
The Department of Health Services is monitoring all suspected/confirmed cases of the virus in our community and will let us know if there is any action to take regarding our schools.
In the event that a case of COVID-19 occurs at a school site, district leadership will work with public health officials and the Sonoma County Office of Education to determine next steps, which may include closing a school for up to 14 days because after 14 days the virus is not contagious. Protocols and procedures are actively being developed so that if and when a case is identified at a school site, we are prepared.
Currently, we have not canceled large gatherings, field trips, athletic events, or other school community events.
While the State of California and the County of Sonoma have declared a health emergency, the primary purpose of doing so is to obtain access to financial and medical resources.
The Department of Health Services advises contacting your doctor if you have been exposed directly to someone who was on the Grand Princess Cruise or if you have traveled from impacted cities or countries AND have flu-like symptoms including a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. For more information: https://socoemergency.org/emergency/coronavirus/
If you plan to travel to mainland China or any country with COVID-19 travel advisories during the upcoming spring break, you will be screened upon re-entry to the United States, as determined by federal and state officials, and subject to any new guidelines that may be implemented. Visit the CDC website for a list of destinations with risk of community spread of Coronavirus.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and staff, and we take this responsibility seriously and will follow the lead of the Department of Health Services public health experts.
Meanwhile, there are some things that we all can do. It is flu season and we are following the best disease-prevention practices in schools. You can also follow best practices at home, such as:
Frequently washing your hands with soap and water
Keeping surfaces clean
Sneezing or coughing into a tissue or your elbow
Most importantly, keeping your child home when they are sick with flu-like symptoms, including a fever of 100-degrees Fahrenheit or 38-degrees Celsius or higher, shortness of breath, and coughing
Call your school if your child is staying home sick to let them know.
We appreciate your cooperation and communication during this dynamic time as we work together as a community to keep ourselves safe. We will update you as we embrace new information and data from the public health world.
Dr. Tracy Smith