WHITEHOUSE, Texas (KETK) – Whitehouse ISD has issued a letter to school families assuring them that the district is monitoring developments with the coronavirus.
In the letter, dated Tuesday, the district said it is “closely monitoring the news and reports about COVID-19, or coronavirus that were initially associated with an outbreak in China and now in more than 30 countries, including the United States.”
The letter said the district is “coordinating prevention efforts with the Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) and continues to monitor the situation and prepare for the possibility of confirmed cases closer to home in East Texas or our district. As we have done in the past with other outbreaks of viruses, WISD is prepared to implement and follow protocols and guidelines as directed by health authorities if necessary.”
The virus is believed to be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the letter said. Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing – similar to the seasonal flu.
Preliminary information suggests that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems could be at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Addressing fears and uncertainties accomoanying reports of the illness’ spread in this country, Whitehouse ISD urges its familes to get their information from reliable sources. It offered links to sources it recommends to district families, including:
- Northeast Texas Public Health District
- Texas Department of State Health Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
The letter also offered a number of tips to help guard against catching coronavirus:
- Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get a flu shot.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick. Keeping a sick child at home prevents the spread of illness in the school community and allows the child an opportunity to rest and recover.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
“You should also know that throughout the school year, and in the winter months especially, our WISD team works closely with our school nurses to monitor illnesses, such as the flu. We also work with our custodial teams to ensure our campuses receive more frequent and thorough cleanings during flu season, especially in high-traffic, high-touch areas.
“As we continue to be in contact with local health officials and monitor the COVID-19 situation, we will provide updates to our community should it become necessary. As always, I thank you for your support of our belief that everyone has the right to a safe and caring environment.”Christopher Moran, Ed.D., Superintendent, Whitehouse ISD