As you know the Centers for Disease Control announced that the United States is likely to see clusters of coronavirus infections in some American cities. Though there are no signs of sustained transmission in the U.S., the CDC has indicated that it is not a matter of if, but when the disease will expand in our country.
Obviously, this situation is fluid and subject to change. The takeaway right now is that we should take steps to become informed and plan for the possibility of an outbreak, in order to limit exposure and reduce the number of possible cases.
As educators and education advocates, you know the value of information, education, and preparation. That is why we are sharing the link to the Florida Department of Health’s web page about the virus in our state. There is a lot of helpful information, including a section on workplace and employer recommendations.
We encourage you to read this information, consult your CBA and work with your district to create shared understandings and agreements about employment actions related to possible effects of the virus in the event of an outbreak in your area. In other parts of the world, schools have closed for months and you are positioned to have conversations with school officials about their pandemic planning and how it will impact our members and students.
- CDC Homepage for COVID-19
- Memo from FL DOE Chancellor: Florida Preparedness for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
- Florida Department of Health’s web page
- Share My Lesson Plans and Resources
And remember, secure your mask first, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Stay home when you are sick. Do not return to work until you are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. acetaminophen, cough suppressants, etc.).
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. CDC Handwashing Instructions
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.