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Hancock County News

Southern Hancock schools take proactive approach to threat of coronavirus

While there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County or Hancock County, district officials are not taking any chances.
As a result, the school corporation rolled out new procedures “out of an abundance of caution” to prevent any potential coronavirus or influenza outbreaks.

Effective immediately, the district will send students home from school if they have a temperature greater than 99 degrees or any respiratory symptoms, such as cough, wheezing or shortness of breath. Parents are asked to keep students home if they have any symptom and they must be fever free for 24 hours without medication.

Furthermore, visitors to any district building should be prepared to answer questions about how they are feeling and any recent travel they may have completed. Visitors who are symptomatic will not be permitted inside the buildings.

The district urges all families to double check their emergency contact information in PowerSchool, and the district will also send devices home with all students daily through spring break.

“This is only a precaution for the event one or more of our schools will need to be closed. If this were to happen, E-Learning Days will be utilized. Devices will also be sent home on the final day before spring break, Friday, March 20, 2020. This is a precautionary measure in case school would need to be closed after spring break,” superintendent Dr. Lisa Lantrip said.
In addition, the custodial staff will continue to disinfect and clean the buildings with an additional focus on disinfecting high touch surfaces like desks, handles, knobs, faucets, light switches and drinking fountains.

“The district is evaluating whether to continue with field trips, extracurricular events, and competitions at this time. We are seeking guidance from public health officials at the local, county, and state levels. These will be decided on a case-by-case basis based on the age of the students and any potential risks at the destination. In the event of a canceled field trip, notifications will come from your student’s principal or teachers. If you have concerns regarding your student’s field trip or wish for your student to not take a field trip, please contact your school,” Lantrip said.

As a result, Friday’s elementary fine arts festival has been cancelled as a precautionary measure. It is the district’s hope to reschedule some of the events, and each school’s principal will be sending information to parents regarding the rescheduling of some festival events.
Lantrip and the district are also asking parents to re-examine spring break travel plans.
“We are asking all families to re-evaluate any potential spring break travel based on the risk level at their destination. Please see the guidance from the CDC regarding areas where travel is inadvisable. The U.S. State Department has asked all U.S. citizens to refrain from traveling to any destination via cruise ship,” Lantrip said.

The district is also asking anyone traveling outside the United States to fill out a voluntary form to help officials understand the potential for transmission once break is over.