Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communication from the Superintendent
February 28, 2020
Dear Graded Community,
I hope you have had a restful and rejuvenating Carnaval holiday break. Upon news of São Paulo's first confirmed case of COVID-19 coronavirus, I am writing to share with you some important information regarding the presence of students, parents, and employees on campus when school is back in session on March 2.
The school administration has been closely following the evolution of the coronavirus throughout the world. I have been in direct contact with school leaders in countries with outbreaks, including China, South Korea, and Italy. Additionally, we have kept abreast on recommendations and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Brazilian Ministry of Health.
The CDC recognizes two countries as Warning - Level 3 locations (China and South Korea). Additionally, the following countries are listed as Alert - Level 2 locations (Iran, Italy, and Japan).
The Ministry of Health in Brazil is monitoring 16 countries with possible new cases of coronavirus:
- North Korea
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
The latest news and official information are available from the CDC and the Ministry of Health at:
Neither the CDC nor the Ministry of Health recommends individuals who have traveled to and from these countries in the last 14 days to self-quarantine unless they are exhibiting symptoms of the illness. Exception: Students traveling to and from China in the last 14 days are required to contact the school nurse prior to entering campus. Graded will follow this recommendation and classes will be held for all students who are symptom-free.
If you have been to any of the countries listed above, or had contact with someone who has traveled in the last 14 days to one of these countries and has a fever and/or another symptom of respiratory illness, we require you to contact our school nurse before coming to school. Additionally, you should seek medical advice by visiting either your doctor or a hospital.
If your child has the flu or is showing other viral symptoms, we strongly recommend that you take them to your pediatrician for specific care guidelines. They should stay home and not come to school until they are no longer exhibiting symptoms. Children who are absent due to illness will have their absences excused and their activities on the missed days rescheduled.
Please keep your child at home for treatment and observation, if they show any of the following symptoms:
- Itchy and red eyes
- Feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness, or muscle aches
- Frequent congested cough
- Lots of nasal congestion with frequent nose blowing
The average incubation period for coronavirus is five days, with intervals that reach 12 days. This is the period where the first symptoms appear after the time of infection (Source: https://www.saude.gov.br/saude-de-az/coronavirus).
I would like you to remind you of the importance of proper hygiene and how it limits the spread of many forms of illness. To help prevent flu and colds, please encourage your child to practice good hygiene habits such as:
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth
- Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and then wash hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
The flu and other viruses are most contagious during the first 48 hours. A child who has a fever should remain home until they are ‘fever free’ for 24 hours. Keeping a sick child at home will help minimize the spread of infections and viruses in the classroom.
We have added an additional fifty alcohol gel wash stations throughout campus. In addition, every classroom and office is equipped with alcohol gel. Our nurses are ready to monitor our students and staff for any suspected illness. If your child has symptoms referenced in this letter, we will contact you and ask that you come to school to take them home until all symptoms have cleared.
Your child's health and wellbeing is our first priority, and we are deeply focused on ensuring a safe and rich learning environment. We will continue our close monitoring of the COVID-19 coronavirus and keep you abreast of any changes to our practices, should this be necessary. Thank you in advance for helping your children stay healthy and our whole school community remain safe.