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Tazewell County Public Schools Media Statement to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Tazewell County Public Schools

MEDIA STATEMENT

TAZEWELL COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS TAKES
PROACTIVE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Tazewell, VA- Tazewell County Public Schools would like to provide an update and share information with the community in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, "COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that was caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including the United States." Currently, there are 9 confirmed cases throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization publicly characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.


To date, there are NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Southwestern, Virginia. At this time there is also NO indication that any of our students or employees have contracted COVID-19. As such, we are not responding with panic and are taking a proactive approach to this situation with the full support of our school board.
"The safety of our students and staff are of the utmost importance to our board. At the same time, there is not yet a cause for panic within our system, therefore acting ahead of any infections is the best course of action. We believe our superintendent and his staff are more than capable to make the safest calls based on the information provided them by experts in this field," said Tazewell County Public School Board Chairman, David R. Woodard.

We have been in frequent contact with the Virginia Department of Health as well as the Tazewell County Health Department. Additionally, we are following the guidelines that have been provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in each of our 14 schools.


Our maintenance director has directed principals and custodians to ensure that all high traffic areas and "high-touch" surfaces - such as doorknobs, light switches, and desks - are cleaned on a frequent basis with CDC-approved products. We have also reiterated to our custodial staff how important it is that our bathrooms are fully stocked with soap and paper towels at ALL times. Moreover, we are promoting handwashing/cleanliness in each of our schools.


In addition to the precautionary steps outlined above, our maintenance staff and custodians will be working diligently over the weekend to sanitize all high traffic areas and "high-touch" surfaces to include each desktop. We will also begin to work with our teachers to create paper learning packets and online learning opportunities for our students to ensure that learning continues in the event of reported cases in our area.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness much like the flu, so many of the strategies that we use to reduce the spread of flu can prevent respiratory illnesses of any kind. We recommend the following precautions outlined by the CDC:


• Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

• Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick unless you are seeking medical treatment. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.

• Practice respiratory hygiene
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

• Clean your hands.
Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Also, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Below you'll find some additional resources regarding COVID-19:


• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
• The World Health Organization's website: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
• The Virginia Department of Health website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/
• 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343)


Thank you for your partnership as we continue to prepare for and respond to this evolving situation in a proactive manner. We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.


About Tazewell County Public Schools:
Tazewell County Public Schools administers all public schools in Tazewell County, Virginia. The school system is managed by the School Board based in Tazewell, Virginia. The division superintendent is Dr. Chris Stacy. The mission of Tazewell County Public Schools is to provide a safe learning community committed to increasing student achievement by engaging stakeholders to maximize student success. The school system is comprised of 14 schools. For more information about Tazewell County Public Schools, visit www.tazewell.k12.va.us/.

-TCPS-