March 12: Coronavirus updates and guidance for families and staff
LA CROSSE, Wis., (March 12, 2020) – The School District of La Crosse values the health and well-being of our students, staff, and families. We work throughout the year to promote healthy schools and safety is our number one priority.
Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, continues to circulate worldwide. As of March 12, 2020 there have been six confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Wisconsin. There are zero cases in La Crosse County. The current risk to La Crosse area residents remains low.
School District of La Crosse 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. The current district pandemic preparedness plan addresses what is done before, during, and after a potential outbreak, and will provide guidance if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in our district schools and community.
As a precautionary measure, all district staff and student travel outside of the country is now suspended through September 1, 2020. Until further notice, district administration has also suspended all student and staff travel to states where COVID-19 transmission has occurred through sustained community spread.
The district’s daily planning around COVID-19 preparedness continues to focus on areas of extracurricular group activities, ensuring the continuity of education should a building need to close temporarily, and the continuation and availability of food service programs during a potential school closure. The La Crosse County Health Department is not recommending closing schools at this time unless there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 involving a student or staff member in a school. As much as possible, children should be able to carry on with their education and normal activities. The La Crosse County Health Department also respects and supports the district’s decision about closures or cancellation of activities at an individual school.
The School District of La Crosse takes routine steps to reduce the spread of illness in our schools. Our school nurses work closely with the La Crosse County Health Department while monitoring and tracking daily absence rates and analyzing the data across schools for trends. Our facilities staff completes targeted and more frequent disinfecting of specific spaces in our schools with appropriate cleaning products. Our office staff work to engage parents and guardians to ensure students who are ill stay home and know how to get well.
While much attention has been paid to COVID-19, seasonal influenza (flu) and other respiratory viruses are common in Wisconsin at this time of year. We continue to encourage students, families, and staff to help reduce the transmission of illness by:
- Washing hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
- Covering mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Staying home from work when sick.
- If children are sick, keeping them home from school or daycare.
- Avoiding those who may be sick whenever possible.
- Contact a health care provider with any questions.
The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and changing. We understand there is uncertainty involved in this situation. We will continue to update families and staff with new information or guidance as it is made available. We encourage you to contact a district nurse or the La Crosse County Health Department if you have additional questions.
National Coronavirus updates and travel guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
State of Wisconsin Coronavirus updates: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm
La Crosse County Health Department updates: facebook.com/lacrossecountyhealthdepartment