February 26, 2020

Dear Country Day Community,

As you are likely aware, on Tuesday, February 25, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave a press conference updating the country on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and recommended steps that should be taken moving forward. While we do not want to unduly alarm our community, we wanted to share with you some of the steps our school is taking to prevent the spread of illness across our campus, and plan for the possible spread of the coronavirus in our community. 

As the CDC has emphasized, there is not currently a coronavirus pandemic in the United States . A pandemic occurs when a disease is spreading from a variety of sources across a large region, and the number of cases across the U.S. is still small. However, given how quickly the global situation is evolving, we are monitoring new developments and will continue to reevaluate our steps and actions frequently. 

Country Day's administration is prepared to alter our procedures and planning through these guidelines for response, should the situation change. We are also considering the impact spring travel, school trips, and other non-typical school activities will have in the context of the coronavirus. We will communicate any changes affirmatively when the time is appropriate. 

In the meantime, the most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to: 

  • Ensure excellent hygiene. General health and wellness best practices, with a particular focus on thorough and frequent hand washing, are recommended. It is important to note that although N95 masks and other personal protective equipment are helpful in preventing the spread of the illness by infected persons, the CDC does not recommend the use of masks for protecting individuals from contracting the coronavirus.
  • Stay home if you are ill. Faculty, staff, and students who are feeling ill should stay home until they recover.
  • Voluntarily isolate at home. Community members who have recently traveled from China, have been in close contact with someone who traveled from China, or who are experiencing symptoms of illness should not visit campus for a minimum of 14 days.

It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Country Day will follow directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, and/or local governmental organizations, as necessary. 

In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength, patience, and support of this community. Please continue to look for further communications from us on this matter.

Thank you,
Lee Thomsen
Head of School
Additional Resources
The World Health Organization (WHO) website provides information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak. They have created this short video explaining coronaviruses and providing additional information about this outbreak.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The CDC has compiled a variety resources and information here including:

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact.

If you have had close contact with someone showing symptoms who has recently traveled from this area, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

The Sacramento County Public Health department has confirmed the first travel-related case of COVID-19 in a Sacramento County resident who recently traveled to China. While the risk remains low to the residents of the County, the department is providing additional information as well as self-monitoring, isolation, and quarantine steps for individuals who have recently traveled to mainland China (within 14 days) and those who have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. More information from SCPH is available here .

Lee Thomsen, Head of School
lthomsen@saccds.org , 916.481.8811, saccds.org 

Emily Allshouse, Director of Marketing and Communications
eallshouse@saccds.org , 916.481.8811, saccds.org 

Mission Statement
Sacramento Country Day School inspires intellectual discovery and engages a diverse community to think critically, live creatively, and act compassionately.