As news about the threat of novel coronavirus spreads, Manteca Unified School District is doing everything that it can to ensure that students and staff remain healthy.
According to the district, which currently has no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 – the tag for Coronavirus Disease 2019 – and has no reason to believe that students have been exposed to the virus while at school or at any school functions, ongoing processes are underway to promote the overall health and wellbeing of students and staff and the wider community.
As a precaution and as part of the general practice of promoting healthy schools, the district is in close contact with public health officials about the situation and has preparations in place to make notifications if necessary.
“At this time, Manteca Unified School District has no confirmed or reported cases of COVID-19 among students or staff members,” Brunn said in a release about the district’s procedures in regard to the potential pandemic. “We are continuing to work closely with San Joaquin County Public Health Services to monitor the situation and continue to utilize their guidance.”
Last month the district created a page on its website dedicated to the novel coronavirus with information that was distributed by the district to parents and the wider community and also includes links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Monday the district sent out a multiple-page letter to staff informing them of any updates, and urging them to stay home from work if they come down with a fever or feel under the weather as a way to prevent any sort of illnesses – including the flu – from spreading through classrooms and into homes.
As health officials at the county level coordinate with state and federal agencies over the potential threat, the district has stepped up its cleaning program to thwart transmission of any potential pathogen that could make students or staff sick.
“We are taking extra measure to ensure that all classrooms and campus spaces are cleaned and disinfected, the release read. “Our measures include conducting cleanings of touching points such as sinks, restrooms, drinking fountains, and door handles. Processes are in place for special deep cleanings of classrooms or common spaces if necessary.
“Additionally, we are working with our school staff to continue to educate students about the importance of proper and frequent handwashing through a variety of materials and resources. Per our normal illness protocols, should a student show up at school with a fever, we will contact families to pick up the student as soon as possible and limit exposure to other students and staff.”
The idea of planning and preparing for potential pandemics in schools has been commonplace since the emergence of the H1N1 flu – commonly referred to as “swine flu” – back in 2009.
Since them the district has worked closely with health officials at the county level who have served in an advisory capacity about student health. The collaboration could be seen as recently as 2018 when the district took its guidance related to student safety during the Camp Fire in Butte County that created unhealthy air conditions throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
Updates to those practices continue as the fluid situation becomes clearer, and proactive steps are being taken to help protect students and staff.
“We are actively reviewing, updating, and are ready to implement emergency operation plans in collaboration with our local health department,” the district said in the statement. “The plan emphasizes common-sense preventative actions for students and staff – for example, appropriately covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and washing hands often.
“Students and staff have access to soap and water as well as hand sanitizer in our schools throughout the school day.”
For additional information about the district’s procedures or for any updates or developments as they are announced, visit www.mantecausd.net/coronavirus. For additional resources related to COVID-19 visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, or the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health Services website at www.sjcphs.org.
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