Coronavirus COVID-19 prevention and information
As of school dismissal on Friday, March 13, Maize USD 266 is suspending all group gatherings, including sports practices, facilities and ground rentals, scheduled gatherings, youth sports, Maize Recreation Fun Factory, etc. This follows an announcement from the Sedgwick County Health Department regarding a ban on gatherings of 250 or more people.
Maize USD 266 vigilant regarding Coronavirus, community health
Maize USD 266 takes very seriously the health of its students and employees. District leaders, school administrators, and school nurses are working together in the best interest of the health of students and employees. As needed, leaders will work with professionals at the Sedgwick County Health Department, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), and other public health and educational agencies to make the best decisions possible for schools in the event of any issue. In an effort to continue to stay vigilant during the remainder of cold and flu season and in light of the rapidly developing Coronavirus situation, district leaders are sharing the following reminders and updates:
The best way to prevent the spread of any disease is to wash your hands often, cough into your elbow or sleeve, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Help us keep our schools safe and healthy
In an effort to maintain and promote safe and healthy schools, Maize USD 266 has increased communication to educators and students regarding the importance of proper and frequent handwashing. One of the best and easiest ways to keep you and our school healthy is for each of us to wash our hands carefully, especially after bathroom breaks and before snacks and meals.
District leaders are asking parents and families to join in this effort. Please click here to review the five steps for proper handwashing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..
Thank you for helping us stay healthy together as OneMa1ze!
What Maize USD 266 is doing to keep students and employees healthy
- The district is taking action steps to keep our schools, students, and employees healthy. These measures include educating our school community, encouraging routine handwashing with soap, discouraging the sharing of food, and monitoring attendance and illness patterns.
- The district owns and operates six electrostatic sprayers used to dispense hospital-grade Vital Oxide disinfectant. The district uses this equipment to disinfect its fleet of school buses, classrooms, nurse’s offices, wrestling mats, locker rooms, and other surfaces to keep them clean and sanitized.
- If the district receives notice of a confirmed case involving a student or staff member, leaders will communicate that with parents via e-mail.
- While experts at this time do not believe the Coronavirus to be a foodborne illness, our Food Service Department as a preventative measure has reminded its employees of the importance of careful handwashing and that they are not to come to work if they are ill.
- We ask and encourage families and parents to be respectful of others in the district by adhering to district policies. Please remember that, according to the 2019-20 District Student Handbook:
“Students who are ill should never be sent to school. Students with temperatures at or above 100 degrees will be sent home. They must be fever-free for 12 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning to class. The school health rooms are set up to give first aid to the sick and injured, do screenings, give necessary medications, and care for students with chronic health problems. Ill students need to be picked up quickly in order to prevent the spread of disease to others.”
As always, any parent or guardian of a Maize USD 266 student has the authority to keep their child(ren) home if a concern exists regarding the child’s health and/or safety.
Working with experts
Maize USD 266 has worked with health experts during past incidents, including cases of pertussis (whooping cough) and an instance of an E. coli infection. As with those instances, district officials coordinated with health experts and communicated with parents about the situation and what the district was doing to keep students safe.
The following is a recent communication from the Sedgwick County Health Department to Maize USD 266:
"The Sedgwick County Health Department is in regular contact with our state health department and are ready to implement protocols should Sedgwick County have a person under investigation due to recent travel to China.
The Health Department has experience and is trained to respond to infectious diseases. Recall that we responded to the influenza H1N1 outbreak in 2009 and a measles outbreak in 2014 and 2017. Part of what our public health system does is stay on alert and be ready to respond to a public health threat. We are ready to take action if needed.
Currently, CDC notifies KDHE about travelers from China, and if a Sedgwick County resident, KDHE would then notify the Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD). SCHD would then contact the traveler to check for symptoms and verify travel history. Depending on travel history, the person may be asked to remain at home until 14 days after they left China. SCHD would continue to follow up with the person until the end of the 14-day period.
If a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 was identified in Sedgwick County, SCHD would alert healthcare facilities and the public. Communication would include stating the public’s risk for infection and actions the public can take to prevent infection. Since there is no vaccine, the most important response for the public would be frequent handwashing and avoiding people who are ill. All contacts of the person with confirmed COVID-19 would be monitored. In this situation, the goal is to prevent the spread of disease.
If a Sedgwick County resident is identified at risk for COVID-19 but is not currently ill, the person would be required to remain at home for 14 days. They would be asked to watch for COVID-19 symptoms (fever of 100.4⁰F or greater, cough, shortness of breath) and take their temperature daily.
If the person developed symptoms, they would contact SCHD and their healthcare provider to receive laboratory testing. At that time, the SCHD would work with the person to identify any close contacts at risk for disease exposure. All of their close contacts would be required to remain at home for 14 days after last exposure or until laboratory test results are negative.
How do people become infected:
Similar to other coronaviruses, the COVID-19 is likely to spread by droplets from an infected person’s nose or mouth through coughing and sneezing.
To prevent illness:
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water - use hand sanitizer if soap isn’t available
2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick
3. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
5. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs
6. Stay home when you are sick"
Maize USD 266 students demonstrate a healthy habit: coughing into your elbow or sleeve to avoid the spread of germs.