On Monday, March 9, the following letter was shared with Jefferson Parish Schools employees via email and with JP Schools families on social media and the district’s website:
Dear JP Schools Families,
Today, Governor Edwards announced the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Louisiana. This case is from a Jefferson Parish resident who is hospitalized in Orleans Parish.
We are working in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health and Jefferson Parish government. We will continue to follow the guidance of health experts in this evolving situation. Our intent is to keep schools open.
As we shared with all our families last week, we are taking extra steps to keep our students and employees safe. Some of these proactive measures include:
- We are increasing sanitation efforts in our schools and buildings, including restrooms, cafeterias, classrooms, and other common areas.
- All employees are completing online training for common illness prevention.
- If a current student or staff member has traveled to a country on the CDC’s risk assessed list, out of an abundance of caution, we are requesting that these students and staff wait for the 14-day incubation period to expire before returning to school or work.
- We’re asking new families who register whether the student has traveled internationally within the last two weeks.
- We’re also monitoring absences daily, limiting large-scale assemblies, and limiting student travel for school events.
You can learn more about the actions we are taking at jpschools.org/health.
Health officials have shared that the best ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus are the same preventions recommended for the flu and common cold:
- Stay home and seek appropriate medical attention if you are sick.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and place it immediately in the trash.
We hear our families’ and staff’s concerns about coronavirus, and I share those concerns. We take the health and safety of our community seriously. Even with this presumptive positive test, the Louisiana Office of Public Health says the risk to the general public is low. The overall risk to children also remains low.
As this situation is ever-evolving, we share this update as part of our commitment to being transparent and keeping you well-informed. Thank you for your partnership, and we will continue to keep you updated.
Dr. Cade Brumley