Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center
TAPPS Interscholastic competition is canceled until May 4; read more at this link.
PSIA: March 11, 2020: ALL PSIA TOURNAMENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR.
SMA Account Credits (Letter for Current Families)
April 3, 2020: Letter to current families from President Guenther regarding payments and credits to student accounts.
SMA to remain closed until Monday, May 4
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a new executive order (GA-14) on March 31 that calls for all Texas schools to remain closed to in-person classroom attendance until Monday, May 4. The order requires Texans to continue limiting personal interactions, while allowing essential services and activities, through April 30. A list of essential services is posted at http://tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices/
In compliance with this order, San Marcos Academy will continue to follow our Academic Distance Learning Plan through Friday, May 1. Our campus will remain closed to visitors during this time.
We will share additional plans and contingencies for final exams, graduation, and other year-end events as soon as we make these determinations.
Letter for Lower School Families, March 31, 2020
Message from President Guenther, March 27, 2020
Update on academic testing, March 23, 2020
Important Testing Updates from the Guidance Counselor’s Office:
- Students taking AP classes or considering taking an AP exam: please view this information on AP Testing: Advanced Placement (AP) Testing
- SAT/ACT Updates: The May 2 SAT has been canceled by College Board. College Board is currently still planning to offer the June 13 test nationwide. SMA may offer an ACT test in June or July; we will post an update when available.
- Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment: Students wishing to take dual credit classes for the 2020-21 school year must take the TSI. The test originally scheduled for administration at SMA in April has been postponed until Summer 2020. Mrs. Nash will email students when the testing dates have been set. Students who cannot arrange to take the test during the summer may take the test once school begins in August.
- Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP): The CTP test that was scheduled for students in grades 1-8 to be taken in April has been canceled for the 2019-20 school year. CTP Testing will resume next school year for students in grades 1-8.
- For any questions about these testing updates, contact Mrs. Teri Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-753-8016.
COVID-19 Update for SMA Community, March 18, 2020
Following are links to important information for parents and students from our administrative staff:
SMA Distance Learning Plan for K-12; this document includes details about how instruction will be provided for all of our students beginning March 23, 2020.
SMA Dormitory Plan includes information specifically for our boarding population. This information is also accessible from the pop-up window in the Important Links section below.
SMA Communicable Disease Action Plan (CDAP) is also posted in the Important links section below for reference.
COVID-19 Update for SMA Community, March 16, 2020
PDF version of the March 16, 2020, update from President Brian Guenther.
Health Advisory for SMA Community
Letter sent March 12, 2020, by President Brian Guenther.
Frequently Asked Questions
Coronavirus Disease 2019 Basics
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.
On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases.
People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards people who were in quarantine.
Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.
Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.
People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.
How It Spreads
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.
This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.
Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:
- The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
- The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.
Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
How to Protect Yourself
Yes. There have been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. related to travel and person-to-person spread. U.S. case counts are updated regularly on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. See the current U.S. case count of COVID-19.
Provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Preventions: