Dear Headwaters Community, 

We continue to closely follow local, national, and international reports about the spread of the respiratory virus known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. While no definitive cases have been reported among the Austin community, there is a current test pending with information expected today or tomorrow, according to Dr. Mark Escott, interim Austin Public Health (APH) authority at an APH press conference earlier this morning. According to APH, " The overall risk of COVID-19 in the United States to the general public remains low at this time." ( 1 ) Please be assured that we continue to monitor the situation closely. 

Across our campuses, we are taking precautions to increase sanitation and cleanliness: 
  • Nightly cleaning crews are increasing attention to cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing.
  • At Springs and Creek, guides are personally resetting the classroom and disinfecting hard surfaces that are frequently used. 
  • We have renewed focus on handwashing lessons for Springs and Creek students. We have also been posting CDC handwashing guidelines at each sink on all three campuses.
  • The Creek Campus has also retired the laminated rainbow hands (campus passes) for recyclable paper passes. 
  • On the River Campus, classes are sanitizing desks and frequently used surfaces at the start of each class period. 
We have assembled a cross-campus workgroup to monitor information, updates, and weigh in on decisions related to COVID-19. The group is comprised of myself, Cait Taylor, Amy Nylund, Alex Penry, Nora Dock, Robin Scott, Bridget Brown, Jote Khalsa, and Dan Cummings. Please send questions, suggestions, or concerns to this group by emailing health@headwaters.org
 
Click here for the latest from the CDC, including tips for prevention we shared in the last email. In addition, the CDC also reminded citizens of their recommendation for all persons aged six months and older to receive an annual influenza vaccine "to prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19." Vaccination is still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza. ( 2)

Your child may also be asking about coronavirus. Talking to your child about prevention and handwashing can help them feel less anxious. This resource from NPR may be helpful when talking to children:   Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus. ( 3)

Stay tuned for more information about Spring Break and travel restrictions. As we stated in an earlier communication, if your family plans to travel over spring break, we recommend following CDC Travel Health Notices and do not travel if you are unwell. 

With the assistance from all of our families, we can help ensure that our students stay healthy and safe. Stay up-to-date with our new page on the website .

Take care,
 
Ted
 
Ted Graf
Head of School
References
  1. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.austintexas.gov/COVID19
  2. Jernigan DB. Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak - United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:216-219. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6908e1external icon
  3. Gharib, M. (2020, February 28). Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus
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