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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Posted on 02/28/2020

(March 9, 2020) UPDATE

On March 8, the Oregon Health Authority announced its recommendations for schools:

"At this time, OHA recommends against closing schools and campuses where no cases of COVID-19 are present.

OHA also recommends that schools, colleges and universities consider all alternatives before closing a school, college or university in the event that a COVID-19 case is detected among students or staff. Schools, colleges and universities should make decisions in concert with public health authorities, based on real-time information about COVID-19 and its transmission and using public health best practices.

Students, staff and volunteers who are ill should not attend school and remain at home.”

(Tuesday, March 3, 2020) UPDATE

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that the Centers for Disease Control is monitoring and learning about in order to assist individuals who may become ill with the virus and to prevent others from getting sick from COVID-19. While the medical field's knowledge about this virus is in its early stages, MSD has taken additional preventative measures to assist in the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and community.

The McMinnville School District has implemented several procedures to become knowledgeable about the virus and to help reduce the transmission of germs including the following:

  • Weekly meetings between MSD with Yamhill County Health Department leadership.
  • Contact with appropriate State officials as needed as well as monitoring and reviewing documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Oregon Health Authority.
  • Attendance tracking for changes in student attendance patterns.
  • Increased frequency in cleaning commonly touched areas (such as door handles, countertops and entry keypads).
  • Additional classroom desktop cleaning materials.
  • Increased hygiene instruction in health classes (such as hand washing; covering a cough or sneeze with the elbow rather than the hand; not sharing beverages and food between students).
  • COVID-19 CDC posters throughout the schools, "Stop the Spread of Germs" and "Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019."
  • Elimination of “sharing tables” (In order to avoid multiple students handling any single food item, MSD will suspend any use of centralized table locations on which students place an unwanted food item for someone else who might want an extra item).

How can parents help?

Please provide similar instruction at home to children about hand washing, not sharing food, covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and not hugging, shaking hands, fist bumping, or having other close contact with students. In other words, institute a “no contact” practice and instead of physical greetings consider “jazz hands,” “thumbs up” and air “high-fives” as greetings to friends and colleagues. Students with a fever should stay home. Please help reinforce these practices with your child by being a role model in demonstrating these same behaviors at school and in the community.

What about school closures?

The District will work in conjunction with health authorities regarding any need for a health-related closure. Should such a closure be necessary MSD would notify families just as it does in inclement weather situations (website, text, phone dialer, FlashAlert, etc.) If the District were to close for a few days, student make-up days would likely be scheduled later in the school year.

What about athletic events and out of district travel?

For now, we ask spectators to consider social distance when spectating, set apart rather than close to other spectators watching or attending an event.

We will assess travel to other events and activities and notify families of any anticipated changes (including cancellation).

We will continue to provide information related to COVID-19 and also encourage parents to review the Centers for Disease Control and the Oregon Health Authority websites for additional information.

(Monday, March 2, 2020) UPDATE

The McMinnville School District works closely with the Yamhill County Health Department and Oregon Department of Education to monitor issues related to the health and safety of students in school.

There have been no cases in our area to date. Should that change, the district will take steps in association with health department protocols in its response.

Click below for information, provided by the Centers for Disease Control, which explains what the coronavirus is, how it spreads and symptoms associated with the virus.

Additionally a checklist for home preparedness is provided below. While the complete list is important for response during any emergency, the first five items may be particularly useful should area closures necessitate self-sufficiency in households.

COVID-19 fact sheet (Spanish)
Emergency checklist (Spanish)

(Friday, Feb. 28, 2020) The McMinnville School District works closely with the Yamhill County Health Department and County emergency planning personnel in prevention planning regarding matters related to student health and well being. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel (new) virus that health officials are monitoring and that we as citizens are hearing a great deal about in the media.

In assisting with an awareness of prevention strategies new hygiene posters (see below) have been distributed and posted in all district schools.

We hope parents will take the time to review with their children how important it is to "stop the spread of germs" through covering our mouths when coughing; avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth with our hands; cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces at home; and washing our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

One of the things we learned from county officials is that people are generally good at washing the palm surface of their hands. Think about working with your child to wash between their fingers, and to be sure the thumbs and the backs of each hand are scrubbed too. Soap and water is always the first choice because it loosens the germs from the skin and helps to eliminate the unwanted spread. 

Routinely we increase our cleaning of frequently touched areas in our schools during flu season. With hundreds of children in our schools each day, and because of the new virus, it is particularly important that we take the time to remind each other of the added protection that hygiene practices such as those recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) be followed. 

"COVID-19 symptoms" poster (Spanish)
"Stop the spread of germs" poster (Spanish)

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