South Pasadena Unified School District
February 26, 2020
Dear Parents and Community Members,
As you know, the Center for Disease Control is closely monitoring an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus now called COVID-19. The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, but cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States. The United States recently repatriated 43 persons from abroad who were confirmed as having tested positive for the disease, and who will be in quarantine during the entire length of their illness/infection. This increased the number of cases in the United States from 14 to 57, but this number does not represent any new cases of community transmission in the United States; all of these patients have been in quarantine.
SPUSD staff has actively reviewed our Joint Emergency Operations Plan, in particular the section which covers public health emergencies and pandemics, in order to be prepared should the situation in our community change and the Public Health Department order school districts in our County to implement regulations designed to combat this disease or school closures.
Los Angeles County has no new cases at this time. The only case that was identified in LA County occurred in a traveler from Wuhan, China, some weeks ago. Please be assured that no students in our schools or members of our community have been identified as having been infected. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
However, as you may have heard from news reports, and from a recent CDC press release, that it is likely that more cases will be identified in the coming days. The CDC states, “It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in the United States.” Please consult the CDC website for their most up to date information. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html)
If community spread does occur, the District will follow all Public Health orders and inform you immediately of policies that will be implemented.
Influenza (the “flu”) and other respiratory infections are present in our community and are being transmitted from person to person. Therefore, it is important to review the following in order to know when to keep your sick child at home.
Please keep your child at home if he/she has any of these symptoms:
If your child has a fever, he/she should not return to school until he/she has been fever-free without fever reducing medications for 24 hours.
If your child has been seen by a doctor for illness related symptoms, please ask the doctor for a note for the school that states when he/she can return to school.
We all agree that it is important that students attend school on a regular basis. However, when children are ill, their needs are best met by being taken care of at home until they feel well enough to be back in school.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the District Nurse, Alexandra Platz, at 626-441-5830, Extension 3917.
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
SOUTH PASADENA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT