February 28, 2020 - Coronavirus Update
This message is to update the AAPS community on efforts currently in progress regarding our district response to coronavirus (COVID-19). As always, the safety and health of students and staff is our utmost priority.
While concern about coronavirus continues to be high, it’s important to note that there are currently no confirmed or suspected cases in Michigan. AAPS monitors the coronavirus situation daily and works closely with the Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD). See information at the end of this communication for the latest update from the WCHD.
AAPS is taking additional steps to strengthen our level of preparedness in addressing the coronavirus outbreak, including:
- continue to coordinate and communicate with Washtenaw County Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and other public health officials,
- establish an AAPS Coronavirus Response Advisory Team to assist in planning ahead as this situation develops,
- engage in preliminary district planning for possible next phases of the coronavirus situation,
- update information with our students, staff, parents and community as it becomes available,
- regularly sanitize classrooms and other school spaces to prevent the spread of any communicable diseases (process completed by the district facilities team) and,
- continue to practice sound health habits to prevent the spread of illness in our schools, including frequent handwashing and staying home when sick
It will be especially important for families to keep their children home when sick, and all are advised to follow these public health guidelines.
And remember, while the coronavirus news is concerning, it is important to point out that there are other respiratory viruses like influenza currently circulating in schools. Fever, coughing and difficulty breathing are symptoms associated with all of them. Therefore, anyone exhibiting these symptoms should not be assumed to have COVID-19, however they should see a health care provider.
If you are interested in more information to talk with your child about coronavirus, this story and comic from NPR is a good resource.
AAPS is joining with other school districts around the country to deepen and ensure our core value of non-discrimination during this challenging time. It’s important for us all to remember that this kind of virus can affect anybody. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what country your parents are from; just because someone looks or talks a certain way doesn’t mean that they are at a higher risk of catching the coronavirus or of spreading it.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to protect the health of our children, prevent the spread of disease in our schools, and to ensure that all remain welcome in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. We will continue to provide regular updates as this rapidly changing situation evolves.
Jeanice Kerr Swift
Superintendent of Schools
Jenna Bacolor, MPH, LMSW
Executive Director, Student & School Health