As you are no doubt aware, the CoronaVirus (COVID-19), has become the topic of serious conversations around the world. We have been closely monitoring the information about this virus from the CDC and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, as well as from other sources in our community.
Although there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in our area, the Academy has put in place several protocols to help prevent the spread of illness, which would include coronavirus COVID-19. Among these protocols are the following:
1) the installation of hand sanitizer dispensers in our high traffic areas
2) cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and bathrooms, including door knobs and faucets, on a daily basis and
3) encouraging students to practice good handwashing, using soap and water for 20 seconds, and to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
If your child is ill or shows signs of coronavirus symptoms, please keep him or her home. Students should not be brought to your Texas school if they have had a fever within the last 24 hours. Our student handbook provides policies regarding absences and make-up work in the event that your child is ill.
In addition, we announced Jan. 31 to the parents of our boarding students that any student who travels to China in the coming weeks will not be allowed to return to the Academy campus following that travel. Our dean of residential life is assisting our students who may have had such travel plans to secure a home stay with relatives or with members of our staff and faculty.
The best way to protect against COVID-19 is to utilize the same measures we take to prevent everyday illnesses such as the common cold. The CDC has recommended the following guidelines to help reduce illness and spread of infection. We are implementing these guidelines and encourage parents to do so as well:
1. Wash hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (sing the happy birthday song twice)
2. Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes and mouth as germs are easily spread this way.
3. Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissue and immediately wash your hands.
4. If no hand soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer.
5. If you or your child are sick or show signs of coronavirus symptoms, stay home until 24 hours have passed without fever.
For updated information on coronavirus COVID-19, you can visit these websites:
Texas Health and Human Services: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
Additionally, should your Spring Break or Easter plans include travel outside the United States, you may wish to check on any posted Department of State travel advisories. That link is https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/
As always, we at the Academy are available to answer any further questions or concerns you may have. The health and safety of your children remains our highest priority, and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with you in this regard. We ask that you would join us in praying on a daily basis for the safety and health of all our students, families, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Brian N. Guenther, President
San Marcos Academy