March 12: Three Area School Districts Agree on COVID-19 Protocols
In response to the report today by Stearns County Public Health of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Stearns County, superintendents from St. Cloud Area School District, Sartell-St. Stephen School District and Sauk Rapids-Rice School District have agreed upon shared school operations protocols.
The districts will follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Mild/Moderate Mitigation for Schools with COVID-19 Cases in their Community.” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf The districts will also continue to partner with local health officials, Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
The following protocols will be in place in all three districts until further notice:
- For the safety of students, staff and community, only district personnel (those on payroll and contracted partners) are permitted inside district schools. Visitors and volunteers will not be admitted to schools at this time.
- Beginning and end of day routines allowing families into the school to drop off or pick up students will remain the same, but other family visits during the school day will be limited to scheduled school business.
- Public health officials have advised limiting large gatherings of people. In response, all school-sponsored public and family events and activities will be cancelled until further notice. Middle and high school practices for activities and athletics, however, are considered an extension of the school day and will continue as scheduled.
- All field trips and school sponsored travel will be suspended.
- Community education classes will be cancelled, and fees will be refunded when applicable.
- Use of district facilities by external organizations and community groups will be limited to practices only.
- Students who have been exposed to a diagnosed case of COVID-19 must communicate with School Administration prior to returning to school.
- Students who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or who are diagnosed with COVID-19, or who have a household member who is diagnosed with COVID-19 should not report to school and must notify the school office of the student’s condition.
- Parents must notify the school office if their student is not in attendance as a precautionary action related to COVID-19.
- Staff members who have been exposed to a diagnosed case of COVID-19 must notify Human Resources prior to returning to work.
- Staff members who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or who are diagnosed with COVID-19, or who have a household member who is diagnosed with COVID-19 should not report to work and must notify the Human Resources Office of their status.
St. Cloud Area Superintendent Willie Jett, Sartell-St. Stephen Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert and Sauk Rapids-Rice Superintendent Aaron Sinclair are committed to the health and safety of all students, staff and families. The districts will continue to monitor developments of the coronavirus COVID-19 and regularly update the community.
March 9 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
The coronavirus (COVID-19) remains a top concern for everyone. At this time, staff and students at St. Cloud Area School District are reporting to work and school as usual. The District is actively monitoring the situation in partnership with Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Education, CentraCare Health System, and local public health officials.
These are the current precautions that the District is taking related to COVID-19:
- Suspending all district-sponsored out-of-state travel for students and staff until further notice.
- Staff or students who have traveled in the past 14 days to one of the CDC designated high risk countries of China, South Korea, Iran or Italy should not report to work or school pending a 14-day self-quarantine per CDC recommendations. Employees should notify HR of their status, and students should notify their school principal for further instructions.
- All operational departments have been instructed to ensure high level cleaning and disinfection of all buildings on a daily basis.
- Staff and students are being reminded of proper hygiene protocols.
St. Cloud Area School District is prepared, and prevention remains our priority. Be assured that we are monitoring the situation closely and working with the medical experts in our community to determine any necessary next steps.
March 8: Coronavirus and International Travel Update
As families are returning from midwinter break, we want to follow-up our first message regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with an advisory from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is important to be aware that if you or your student(s) has traveled in the past 14 days to countries designated by the CDC as high risk: China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea, you must notify your school immediately and NOT return to school pending further instruction from the school district. This directive is regardless of whether you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms.
Please see below for further instructions from the CDC.
- Stay home for 14 days from the time you left the foreign country and practice social distancing.
- If you get sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing seek medical care and call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
CDC Advice for travelers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
Please be aware that this is an evolving situation, and we will continue to monitor it closely and keep you informed.
March 6: Coronavirus Information
In light of recent news reports and travel bans, St. Cloud Area School District recognizes staff, parents, and students may have questions and concerns about the coronavirus, called COVID-19. According to Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Stearns County Public Health, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 in our area is considered low.
Per board policy regarding infectious diseases, the District is in communication with MDH and county health agencies regularly. The District will continue to monitor and respond according to MDH and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines as needed.
MDH recommends that standard illness precautionary measures be taken as the best prevention from all viruses, including the coronavirus:
- Covering a cough
- Washing hands
- Staying home when ill