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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. Based on reports from places where it has circulated, COVID-19 presents a range of illnesses. While many cases may be mild to moderate with symptoms similar to colds and flu, some cases may be more severe. The risk of severe illness seems to be higher for older people and those with underlying health conditions. So far, very few children have fallen seriously ill due to COVID-19. Because this is a new virus, there are still things we do not know, such as how severe the illness can be, how well it is transmitted between people, and other features of the virus.

What is Murray County Central Schools doing about COVID-19?

— Cleaning & Disinfecting: The same cleaning strategies that we use to limit influenza transmission are effective in combating COVID-19. These include frequent disinfecting of surfaces and spray/mist sanitizer machines that we can use to quickly and safely sanitize classrooms on a regular schedule. Additionally, we are providing more supplies to all schools for more frequent classroom cleanings.

— We are limiting school visitors to essential business (example: scheduled deliveries, mail etc.).

— No facility use by outside user groups.

For additional details, please see the Murray County Central Pandemic Policy

What about high school athletics?

— Decisions about Minnesota State High School League events are being made by MSHSL 

What about travel outside the country or outside the area?

We would ask that you limit outings with your children that require close contact and practice social distancing. We will keep you informed as the situation develops.

— School districts do not have the authority or the means to monitor the personal travel of students and families or to restrict school attendance as a result of travel.

— We request that families be aware of, and comply with, the recommendations of the CDC with regard to travel abroad, particularly to countries with Level 3 Travel Health Notices. If families choose to travel to countries on the list, the CDC recommends a 14-day self-imposed quarantine. School districts do not have authority to impose or monitor quarantines for individual students or families but request that families comply with these recommendations.

What actions should we take to protect our family?

The Minnesota Department of Health indicates that following these basic good health practices is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family:

— Make sure to cover coughs and sneezes.

— Encourage frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Model frequent hand washing in your home and workplace.

— Stay home from work if you are sick.

— If you plan to go to the doctor with flu-like symptoms, please call ahead so the clinic can be prepared for your arrival.

Additionally, you may take this opportunity to review your family’s own emergency plans. Think about backup plans for child care if school is temporarily closed or if parents, children, or a child care provider is sick. Think about necessary items to have at home, including prescription medication (check your refill dates), and non-prescription medications, such as fever-reducing medications.

How do we talk with our children about COVID-19?

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has prepared guidance for parents to talk with their children about COVID-19.

Read the NASP guidance in English

Read the NASP guidance in Spanish

How does Murray County Central Schools stay up to date about COVID-19?

Student and staff health and safety is a top priority. We are monitoring developments closely and receive strong support from our partners at the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education. Murray County Central Schools is following the guidance of these and other state agencies. We are also receiving updates from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure our school district has the latest information. Superintendent Joe Meyer and the District’s COVID-19 crisis management team participates in a daily updates for schools solely about the virus and the information most valuable to schools.

Further Questions

If you have questions about infectious diseases, please call the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414.

If you have questions about Murray County Central Schools’ preparation for COVID-19, please contact the Office of the Superintendent at (507) 836-6575.

Additional Resources:

Minnesota Department of Health resources:

— In English: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basics.pdf

— In Spanish: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basicsspanish.pdf

Minnesota Department of Health:https://www.health.state.mn.us/index.html

Minnesota Department of Health Prepare and Protect for COVID-19:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/prevention.html

Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Family Emergency Preparedness:

https://www.ready.gov/

Previous Messages Sent to Families:

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