Over the past week, we have followed various news outlets as they report on COVID-19 (the coronavirus 2019) and its effects on public health. COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan City, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province, is a new virus in the coronavirus family which consists of 7 different viruses, four of which cause mild cold symptoms.

It is important that we avoid panic, stay informed, and take the necessary steps to keep our school community healthy and safe.

The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) is advising that schools across the country prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID19) and we are working on a plan that includes two scenarios:

  1. HFCA will remain open while we take health precautions directed by federal, state, and local health officials.
  2. Schools close with a plan to continue learning for students

For this second scenario, I am asking that you complete this survey CLICK HERE so that we can determine in advance which families have access to technology and the internt at home.

The safety of our students, staff and families is always our top priority when making decisions. While the risk for Coronoavirus remains low for Wisconsin residents at this time, We are monitoring the CDC’s real time updates on the status and will continue to follow the CDC’s guidelines.

People who contract the virus will experience standard flu-like symptoms. The World Health Organization reports that about 80% of people infected will experience a mild case. A very small percentage of people who are infected will  experience extreme symptoms. People most at risk of experiencing the most harmful symptoms are people with compromised immune systems, smokers, e-cigarette users, vapers, cannabis users, and other populations involved in actions that diminish lung capacity, and the elderly.

There is currently no vaccine for the coronavirus, thus, it is important we strengthen our immune systems by eating foods designed to support our overall health. I know we love fried chicken, but fried chicken, flaming hots, pop, and soda do not strengthen the immune system. Students receive balanced meals at school for breakfast and lunch and, for sake of their health, they should be encouraged to eat what is offered at school instead of filling up on gas station snacks.

If you contract the virus, it may cause fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and the infection can be very mild to full blown pneumonia (all data indicates 80% of all known cases globally are considered mild).

Below are the CDC guidelines for prevention:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Follow the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for using a face mask (face masks are only needed for those who show symptoms of the coronavirus)
  • 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.

For the latest updates on the spread of the virus, information visit the CDC’s Information Page for the Coronavirus Disease. According ot the CDC there are only 5 confirmed cases in Wisconsin