Over the past few days, we have seen growing concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Across the country, sporting events have been cancelled, from the NBA, MLB, and NHL to the NCAA March Madness, the UIL State Basketball Tournament and the Houston Rodeo. We have also seen universities and school districts closing their doors due to concerns of the virus. During these uncertain times, we want to remind you that the health and safety of our students and staff in San Angelo ISD remains our highest priority. Although we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Angelo ISD or Tom Green County, we want to update you on the measures San Angelo ISD is taking to mitigate the spread of the virus.
We are continually monitoring the impact of COVID-19 in Texas and our region by communicating with local and state officials. We are working daily with public health officials to help guide our decision-making around district operations. Our superintendent, Dr. Carl Dethloff participated in a conference call today with the State Department of Health Services. Over the weekend, we will be meeting with our senior leadership team, maintenance and operations, and Region XV Service Center representatives to receive updates from our Commissioner of Education and TEA.
Cleaning of School Facilities
We are continuing to clean and disinfect our schools and facilities for the safety of everyone. Since the first week of December, we have been on a regular schedule for classroom disinfection. The district maintenance supervisor is leading a crew on a regular rotation to spray entire schools. In addition, when a campus has a higher than normal absence rate or if several confirmed flu cases are reported, we are conducting additional classroom spraying.
Health officials continue to consider the risk to our schools and the general public in San Angelo to be extremely low; there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Tom Green County. At this time, we are not canceling any classes unless advised to do so by local health officials. Should circumstances change, San Angelo ISD will inform parents and families through all District communications channels and local media.
Spring Break Travel
If your student or a member of a student's household has traveled to a country with a Level 3 travel advisory for the Coronavirus as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State, you are requested to alert the District by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and self-quarantine for the recommended 14 days. San Angelo ISD families should also self-report if they have been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If you have traveled to areas within the United States that have reported cases of COVID-19, exercise caution. If, during travel or upon returning to San Angelo, you have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) similar to those described for COVID-19, contact a medical professional and follow instructions.
Athletics and Other Campus/District Events
The District is in discussions with public health officials on the safest way to conduct athletic and other events. While we don't have this answer for you today, we will have an answer for you before Monday, March 16.
As a reminder, the symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Several simple preventative measures are known to minimize the spread of communicable diseases. Based on the current information, health officials recommend we take the same steps to protect against coronavirus as we take to prevent the spread of everyday illnesses like the common cold or the flu:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Remain home until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.
Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze; and
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Partnership with Shannon Medical Center
San Angelo ISD is in direct partnership with Shannon Medical Center. As a result of current events, Shannon leadership has made the decision to enable all school nurses to have a direct consult with a Shannon Clinic pediatrician via telemedicine if a student presents with flu-like symptoms. School nurses will be following protocols as directed through the CDC and local healthcare providers.
For updated information on the coronavirus, please visit:
Texas Department of State Health Services: dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/
Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
City of San Angelo Health Services: https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/health-services
We understand that this is a rapidly evolving situation, with new information becoming available daily. We will remain attentive and are prepared to make further decisions based on the current needs and changing conditions. We will continue to provide daily updates through Monday, March 16.