Dear Stevenson Community,
Many of you have heard about the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak in China, which has brought about one confirmed case in the United States. Stevenson’s Health Center is closely monitoring nCoV and general flu conditions by way of communication with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Monterey County Health Department.
In order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community, we are taking steps to reduce the risk of introduction of this virus, as well as the spread of other strains of the flu. As we do so, we want to keep the school functioning in a normal manner, and need your help.
To prevent the spread of illness, we will be implementing the following recommendations:
- Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette: We will be emphasizing the importance of the basic foundations of illness prevention: stay home when sick, wash hands frequently with soap and water, use hand sanitizer if soap is not available, and cover noses and mouths with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Early treatment of high-risk students and staff: People at high risk for flu complications who become ill with a flu-like illness will be encouraged to speak with their health care provider as soon as possible. Resident students at high risk will be directed to go to the Health Center for evaluation. People at high risk include those who are pregnant, have asthma or diabetes, have compromised immune systems, or have neuromuscular diseases.
- Stay home when sick: Those with flu-like illness should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. (For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html). Resident students are to report to the Health Center for evaluation as soon as they exhibit flu symptoms. Students determined to be sick will stay in the Health Center or their rooms. If they live close enough to campus, we will encourage their parents to care for them at home until they have recovered.
- Routine cleaning: School staff will routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with solvents that mitigate the spread of germs.
Here are a few things you can do to help.
- Direct your children to wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. You can set a good example by doing this yourself.
- Direct your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues or their elbow.
- Be alert to the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit; 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea. These symptoms usually come on quickly.
- Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or do not have signs of fever, without using fever-reducing medications. Keeping children with a fever at home will reduce the number of people who may get infected. Any students who are discovered to have flu symptoms while at school will be sent home or requested to stay in either the Health Center or their dorm room.
If the flu becomes more severe and/or widespread, we may take additional actions. For now, the school is taking reasonable steps as suggested by the CDC to keep our school functioning as usual.
For more information about the flu visit www.flu.gov. We will notify you of any additional changes to our school’s strategy to prevent the spread of illness.
Thank you for your efforts to keep all members of the Stevenson community in good health. Although we can’t eliminate the spread of these viruses, our collective efforts can significantly minimize their reach and overall impact.
Dean of Students