NOTE: See March 20, 2020 updated notification:
As you know, on Tuesday, February 25, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave a press conference updating the country on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and what steps should be taken moving forward. I wanted to share with you some of the steps St. John’s is taking to prevent the spread of illness across our campus and to plan for the possible spread of the coronavirus to Odessa-Midland.
Our approach includes three elements: prevention, vigilance, and intervention. Prevention starts with following the basics – those best practices in daily health that minimize the spread of infectious disease:
- Encouraging good hygiene, like washing hands thoroughly, covering up coughs and sneezes, and not putting hands (or objects) into mouths
- Ensuring that students who are ill are picked up immediately
- Asking all faculty, staff, and students who are feeling ill to stay home
- Requiring students and faculty to be free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine for at least 24 hours before returning to school
Although the coronavirus is spread mainly through the air via respiratory droplets (from sneezes or coughing), it also may be possible for the virus to be transmitted on surfaces contaminated by respiratory droplets. The school’s daily cleaning regimen includes the use of antimicrobial and antiviral cleaners. Please know that desks, chairs, light switches, door handles, etc. are wiped down daily with these cleaners.
We will continue to monitor the situation as the CDC expects the coronavirus to spread in the United States. St. John’s will comply with directives from state and local governments, and we actively seek guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and local epidemiologists.
Please know that St. John’s is monitoring the situation on a daily basis. If we need to cancel any school trips or events, we will. St. John’s administration is also taking proactive steps to prepare for an extended closure of school should it come to pass. While we all hope and pray that such steps are not necessary, it is within best practices to plan for them.
I am incredibly thankful for the St. John’s community, especially during times when working together is imperative. As we know more there will be continued communications from us to all of you.
Head of School