Dear MYSO Families,
With the growing public health concern about coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to share with you what we know so far, some hygiene tips, and steps the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) has taken.
Coronavirus vs. Influenza
Coronavirus is a novel respiratory illness that has been spreading globally since 2019. “Both the coronavirus and influenza (known as the common flu) are respiratory illnesses. Both have similar symptoms…The key difference between the novel coronavirus and influenza is…we know what to expect from the flu.” ¹
How is the Virus Spread?
The coronavirus is spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (through coughing and sneezing) and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. The COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.
A continued theme from public health officials is that the flu and respiratory disease season is currently underway, and getting vaccinated for influenza, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals, if prescribed, is recommended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) always recommends everyday hygiene practices to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These measures can be found below.
If you or your child is having symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical care and follow the instructions from the healthcare provider. As with other respiratory infections like the flu, keep yourself and/or your child well-rested at home while symptomatic, and avoid going to public places to prevent spreading the illness to others. If your child isn’t displaying any symptoms such as a fever or cough—and unless a public health advisory or other relevant warning or official advice has been issued—it’s best to have your child attend their regularly scheduled rehearsals.
MYSO recognizes that this is not a time for fear but a time for preparation. The health and safety of MYSO students, families, and staff are our primary concern
Practice Good Hygiene
The CDC recommends the following strategies to prevent the spread of disease, which normally applies in any flu season:
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer comprised of at least 60% alcohol.
- Be a courteous cougher. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or your arm/sleeve rather than into your hand.
- Keep your hands away from your face (i.e. your eyes, nose, or mouth) because germs routinely spread when you touch something contaminated and then touch those areas of your face.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces with regular household cleaners.
- Stay home when you are sick.
What MYAC is Doing
In addition to the things that MYAC does in the normal course of daily maintenance such as disinfecting surfaces with a CDC-approved disinfectant, the following steps have been taken:
- Bottles of hand sanitizer have been placed at the main entrance, in bathrooms, and on tables in the lower Commons area.
- Hand washing/hand cleanliness reminder signs have been placed at the main entrance, in bathrooms, and at kitchen sink areas.
- The cleaning staff has been instructed to disinfect door handles.
MYSO values the health and well-being of our members, families, and staff, and prioritizes keeping everyone well informed.
Washington Post, March 4, 2020, “How the Coronavirus Compares with the Flu”