March 3: Covid-19 information, prevention, preparadness

Given the continuing public health concerns worldwide surrounding cases of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the Florida UFSD feels it is important to share information about our efforts related to both prevention and preparedness.

First, as with all other matters related to public health, we will monitor this situation and follow guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Orange County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.

The district has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout its schools, to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses.

In addition, we recognize that this situation can generate anxiety for children and families and make for a difficult subject. For that reason, our list of information resources includes the National Association of School Psychologists’ guidelines for parents on how to talk to children about the virus.

There are also a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus, according to the state Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, and follow their advice.

Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness.