March 11, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are writing to provide you with an update about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the district’s efforts to ensure the health and safety of all students in our buildings. We are receiving directives and guidance from three very specific sources of information. These agencies are gathering information from around the world. We are using information from the Union County Department of Health, Ohio Department of Education, and the Office of Governor Mike DeWine.
On March 9, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-01D, declaring a state of emergency in Ohio to protect the well-being of Ohioans from the dangerous effects of COVID-19.
North Union Local School District is working closely with the Union County Health Department to monitor the situation and develop a coordinated and comprehensive public health plan to ensure we are prepared if cases arise in our community. North Union Local School District will be prepared to implement public health recommendations as required. Updated information will be shared with the community and posted to www.nuschools.org as it becomes available.
In an effort to protect the health of our students from respiratory illnesses, North Union is regularly cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and common areas, encouraging more frequent handwashing, and sending students home who come to school with a fever, cough and other respiratory symptoms. Students with these symptoms will be medically excused from school. Please use regular absence reporting procedures to report your student absent.
As we head toward spring break, we know travel may be planned. There is community spread of COVID-19 in other countries and areas of the U.S. so we encourage you to check the CDC Travel Advisory page prior to your travels.
The Union County Health Department recommends that individuals engage in everyday preventive measures to prevent the spread of germs and avoid illness:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
These prevention measures will also be our best line of defense if the time comes that we do see COVID-19 in our community. Additional information about COVID-19 is available on the Union County Health Department and CDC website.
In the event that classes will have to take place at home, we will communicate those procedures within 24 hours of any announcement, and we will proceed with online lessons within 48 hours.
Governor DeWine recommended large, indoor gatherings in Ohio be cancelled or postponed. Governor DeWine also cancelled any Ohio sponsored conferences and any State of Ohio employee travel. He issued specific recommendations for different groups including several pieces of interest to our school partners.
K – 12 Schools: Governor DeWine is not currently recommending the closure of elementary, middle, and high schools; however, school administrators should begin planning for that possibility. Parents should also begin planning for the potential that they may need to stay home with their children or find alternate child care solutions.
Athletics: Governor DeWine has recommended that all indoor high school, college, and professional sports competitions be held without spectators. He asks that events take place only with athletes, parents, sporting officials, and media. Right now, outdoor sporting events can continue as planned.
General Large Gatherings: Generally, Governor DeWine recommends that organizers of any events involving a large gathering of individuals in close proximity be cancelled or postponed.
At this time, North Union Local Schools will move forward with all events as planned. We strongly recommend if you are planning to attend any of these events, you do a risk assessment. Consider if attendees are part of an at-risk population (over age 60 or people with underlying medical conditions), length of event, venue, the degree in which attendees may be within 6 feet of each other, number of participants, ability to modify event format to reduce the spread of disease, etc.
This letter with attachments can be viewed on our website at www.nuschools.org.
Richard J. Baird