Published on March 6
Dear Parents and Guardians:
There continues to be a growing number of people infected with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) globally and within California. At this time, Pivot Charter Schools state that students who are not ill can come to school. Schools will remain open at this time. If a school becomes impacted by the outbreak, we may consider school closures as an option. School closures can last for several days or weeks. We will continue to keep you updated with any new developments. We are asking for your assistance to prepare for and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
To keep the virus from spreading, please keep sick children home.
Understand how coronaviruses are spread
COVID-19 is likely to spread in the same way as other respiratory illnesses like influenza. It is thought to spread from an infected person who has symptoms to others by:
- Droplets produced through coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as caring for an infected person
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
Teach your family the importance of taking steps to prevent infection
There is no vaccine or cure for COVID-19 at this time. Antibiotics only treat infections caused by bacteria so they don’t work against the virus that causes COVID-19. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to take steps to avoid infection:
- Wash your hands often and do it thoroughly. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol for at least 20 seconds.
- Minimize close contact with others when possible.
- Limit close contact with people who are sick. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from someone who is sick – for example, if you see someone coughing, move away.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Do not share objects such as utensils, cups, food, and drink.
- Get a flu shot to protect against influenza.
Know the symptoms of COVID-19
Most people will have a mild or moderate illness and will get better without complications. Symptoms in children tend to be milder, but our understanding of this illness is continuing to evolve. We do know that some individuals, mainly adults, will become severely ill and need to go to the hospital.
- Difficulty breathing
Take extra care if you are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19
Some people are more likely to become seriously ill if they get COVID-19. This includes the elderly, people with HIV or cancer who may have weakened immune systems, and those with heart or lung disease. It is very important that these people take extra care to avoid close contact with other people who are sick and contact their healthcare provider immediately if they do become sick.
Know what to do if you become ill:
- Stay at home or go home as soon as possible if you begin to feel unwell, even if you have mild symptoms such as headaches and slight runny nose. Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or fever symptoms without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Wash your hands well and often.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
- Try to stay at least 6 feet away from others.
- Do not care for others if possible while you are sick.
- If you have pets, avoid contact including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food while you are sick.
- If you must care for people or pets while you are sick, wash your hands before and after.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Do not share objects such as utensils, cups, food, and drink as well as personal hygiene items like toothbrushes and towels.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Over-the-counter cold and flu medications can reduce fever and help you feel better. Remember to follow the instructions on the package. Note that these medicines do not stop you from spreading germs.
- Children should not be given medication that contains aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) because it can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s syndrome. Medicines without aspirin include acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®).
- Children younger than age 2 should not be given any over-the-counter cold medications without first speaking with a doctor.
- Watch for signs of serious symptoms such as worsening fever, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, or dehydration (unable to keep fluids down) and seek medical care if needed.
Keep Emergency Rooms and Hospitals Free to Treat Serious Illnesses
People with mild illnesses should not go to ERs or hospitals for treatment. Most people will get better without the need to see a doctor or take special medicines
Routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs, banisters, countertops, toys, remote controls, faucet handles, and phones. Use the usual cleaning agents and follow the label directions.
Consider the impact of COVID-19 on school, work, and other activities
School and childcare:
- Make sure that you are signed up to receive notices (such as robo-calls and emails) from the school district.
- Consider how you will manage childcare if there are closures, early dismissals, or other changes to school activities.
- Find out about leave policies at work, including if you need to have a doctor’s note.
- Ask about options to work from home if you have a job that might be suitable for teleworking.
Caring for others:
- Make a plan for taking care of family members who are elderly, disabled, or sick if they or their care-givers become ill.
- For tasks or situations that cannot be avoided, stop and think through how you can protect yourself and others as much as possible. Strategies include the use of protective gear, keeping as much of a distance from people as you can, and reducing the amount of time that you need to be in a situation.
Preparing at home
- Make sure that you know the phone number of your doctor’s office, local urgent care, and ER facilities so that you can call them if you become sick instead of just showing up. Put important numbers on the refrigerator, and in your phones.
- If you don’t already have a healthcare provider, the County information line 2-1-1 can help you to find one.
- Update your emergency kits with non-perishable food, water and essential supplies in case you need to stay home.
- Have adequate supplies of prescription medications as well as over the counter medicines to help with cold and flu symptoms.
- If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, read “Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks” on the Public Health website. For help, talk to your doctor.
Know where to get reliable information
Beware of scams, false news and hoaxes surrounding novel coronavirus. Accurate information will always be distributed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention through press releases, social media, and our website. The CDC website has more information on COVID-19 including FAQs, infographics and a guide to coping with stress, as well as tips on handwashing.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Thank you for your help and understanding as we continue to battle this situation.