February 28 Announcement
COVID-19 and Lake Ridge Academy's Policies and Preparations
Dear Lake Ridge Families,
Over the last several days, we’ve all observed the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak evolve. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported cases of COVID-19 in a growing number of countries, including the United States. We share your concern, as this remains an evolving and dynamic situation.
The safety and wellbeing of your children remains our most important priority. At this time, the CDC is recommending all businesses, schools and communities be prepared for the potential threat of the virus, and we are closely monitoring the situation and making contingency plans. While there have currently been no reported cases of this virus in Ohio, being proactive about planning and being vigilant about the potential here is common sense in a community environment such as ours.
As you may know, Lake Ridge Academy is a member of the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools (CCIS) consortium, and I have been in close contact with other CCIS Heads the past two days to share best practices, ensure we all have the most up-to-date information about the virus, and determine how Lake Ridge should respond.
As of today, our immediate response remains the same as it has been, and includes the following policies for families, students, faculty and staff:
- Stay home if ill – We are reminding everyone – parents, children and staff alike – to stay home at the first sign of illness and for a sufficient time period afterwards. If you are concerned that your child is experiencing a cold that is lasting longer than a few days, appears ill, or is experiencing discomfort or distress in terms of breathing, you should consult with your healthcare provider.
- Contact with someone who is ill – If you and/or your children have had direct contact in the past two weeks with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, please stay home, contact your health care provider to plan your care, and then alert your school.
- Remain diligent with cleaning – In addition to our usual cleaning and sanitizing procedures, we are taking extra care to be sure that surfaces (including doorknobs and light switch plates) and learning materials are cleaned and disinfected frequently.
Wash hands frequently – We are diligently following hand washing policies and procedures (please help by ensuring you and your children are washing hands frequently), taking extra care to wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Stay informed – Regularly monitor information coming from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and from your local health department.
Additionally, we recognize that some Lake Ridge families have plans to travel overseas during the upcoming Spring Break. We encourage those families to follow the safe travel precautions as well as the guidelines to avoid nonessential travel to countries listed on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website as “Warning Level 3” countries. As of February 28, 2020, the list of “Warning Level 3 countries” includes only China and South Korea. The CDC recommends that travelers returning from these countries spend 14 days in home quarantine, the length of time for COVID-19 symptoms to develop. This CDC recommendation has been made in order to mitigate the possible community spread of COVID-19 in the United States, as there is currently no vaccine or medication to treat or cure COVID-19. Should your family make the decision to travel to one of the Level 3 countries on the CDC list, Lake Ridge will require that you follow the CDC recommendation to keep your child(ren) at home from school for 14 days following your return. Lake Ridge will work with your family during that time to keep your child(ren) up-to-date with their studies. Please carefully monitor the CDC status of any countries you plan to travel to: importantly, Italy is currently at an Alert Level 2, one level below Level 3.
Looking further ahead, should COVID-19 begin to spread in the U.S. and if Lake Ridge has to close for an extended period of time, our plan would be for academics to continue as scheduled via digital online tools and virtual classrooms.
We will continue to monitor news about COVID-19. I will update you as more information becomes available and as the situation evolves. If you have any questions about how Lake Ridge is preparing for every contingency, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Haase, RN ([email protected]), or me.