NEW ORLEANS – On Tuesday, NOLA-PS held a conference call with school leaders to discuss ways to prevent the spread of viruses like the Coronavirus, flu and the common cold, in accordance with the CDC and Louisiana State Department of Health standards, as well as ways we will work together to plan for and manage any impacts the Coronavirus may have on our schools.
“NOLA Public Schools’ (NOLA-PS) first priority is always the safety of our students, faculty and staff and their families. NOLA-PS continues to coordinate local and state agencies, as we monitor the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Maintaining the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff at all schools is our top priority at this time.”
“This afternoon’s meeting was the first step of many to ensure all schools are aligned on how to confront the Coronavirus if and when it reaches New Orleans.” Today NOLA-PS discussed next steps with school leaders which include:
- NOLA-PS reminded schools to review and share best practices for limiting the spread of viruses, by leveraging best practice resources from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Health with students, staff and families. Senior leadership also urged school leaders to increase sanitary efforts at their facilities and practice increased hand-hygiene and infection prevention practices.
- NOLA-PS asked that schools to consider limiting any unnecessary travel especially to international locations based on current state and federal health guidelines. NOLA-PS also reminded schools to be mindful of any students and faculty who have traveled internationally and follow protocols from the CDC.
- NOLA-PS informed schools that a cautionary procedure, any new students seeking enrollment who have traveled from a country on the CDC’s risk assessed list wait for the 14-day incubation period (beginning the day of return to the U.S.) to expire before enrolling in school.
- NOLA-PS also confirmed to schools that any possible school closure announcements due to any potential Coronavirus threat would follow recommendations from local and federal health agencies.
- NOLA-PS also confirmed that they have established regular channels of communications with schools on the topic and an internal point of contact for schools for any coronavirus-related questions or concerns.
The district has established a website for parents, teachers and families that will act as a resource to learn about, prevent and confront any cases of COVID-19. Any questions should be directed to the Louisiana Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We are confident in the safety of our facilities and want to reiterate that there is no increased risk at this time. We will continue to work with federal and state authorities to monitor threats to COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with recent outbreaks of MERS and SARS.
How does Coronavirus COVID-19 spread?
Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:
- Through respiratory droplets produced when coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes
The Louisiana Office of Public Health encourages schools to increase education on ways to protect staff and students from illnesses such as the cold, flu and also the coronavirus:
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cellphones and other frequently touched areas.
- Contain – if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.