Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communication from the Superintendent
January 31, 2020
Dear Graded Community,
As you are all well aware by now, the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, originating in China, has spread to several countries around the world. On January 30, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a public health emergency of international concern. While there are still no confirmed cases in Brazil or Latin America, we felt it prudent to share some general precautions with you.
We have been monitoring the outbreak closely and have consulted with a variety of agencies, specifically, the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization, in addition to local Brazilian government agencies.
These agencies have compiled a list of recommended precautionary measures individuals can take to prevent the contraction and spread of this virus.
If you were in China in the last 14 days and are ill with fever, cough, or are having difficulty breathing, you should:
- Seek medical care immediately at a doctor’s office or emergency room, calling ahead to inform them of both your recent travel and your medical symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
If you have returned from China and developed a fever, cough, or breathing difficulty, seek medical advice before returning to school.
For all others, the following measures are recommended:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. (Graded has alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations installed throughout the campus.)
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and a cough.
- If symptoms develop such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical care. Do not return to school until you or your child has recovered fully. Inform your healthcare provider about your travel history and bring a medical statement once you are in good health to attend school. We will make sure that your child has all the academic and administrative support they will need while out of class.
- Please continue educating your children on adopting good personal hygiene practices. Our school nurses will reinforce hygiene protocols on campus.
Finally, while this new virus is alarming and can be worrisome, it is important to keep things in perspective. The U.S. Center for Disease Control estimates that during the past flu season in the United States, 35,000 individuals died from the common flu.
Graded will continue to actively follow the coronavirus outbreak via close communication with health agencies. We will keep our community informed and abreast of any procedural changes.