Melissa Soderberg, Head of School
February 28, 2020
 
Dear Columbus Academy Families,
 
We find ourselves in the midst of news about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, that may cause families to pause and wonder about a number of things -- from what are the best ways to handle possible spring travel, to what the school is doing, to how to talk to our children about illnesses that spread throughout the world.
 
First, know the school is monitoring the emerging international outbreak carefully and will act within the proper protocol that authorities like the Center for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Health and our educational organizations recommend and provide for us. It is important to remember that as of today there have been no confirmed cases in Ohio, and no deaths in the United States as a result of COVID-19.
 
In all cases of communicable diseases like whooping cough and flu, our school is in constant contact with appropriate authorities. In addition, we follow CDC recommendations for cleaning during high flu season, which includes providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes liberally in class rooms for high-touch areas and cleaning the school intensely more often, among other measures.
 
The CDC continues to issue travel warnings to COVID-19 hotspots. If you need to travel internationally to any of these listed destinations, please notify our school nurses (nurse@columbusacademy.org) as we will expect travelers will follow CDC expected guidelines and any mandatory quarantines post-travel.
 
Also, I want to urge you to help children understand that, at the moment, the ways we have all been taught to prevent the spread of germs (washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or tissue, not sharing drinks and food, and -- most importantly -- staying home when you are sick) are still crucial in preventing illness, and they continue to be important social cues of sharing in the responsibility of a tight-knit community during a time when people feel panicky about the flu or viruses.
 
While we all take these precautions, please trust that the school is preparing for scenarios of the conditions becoming more serious in our community. We are formulating contingency plans for conducting school when various types of situations require our campus to be closed.
 
The health of our students, faculty, staff and parents is paramount. We will be in contact with you as the situation warrants. In the meantime, enjoy the arrival of spring over the next few weeks and always feel free to give your hands one more precautionary wash!
 
Warmly,
 
Melissa
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