Viral foe

The spread of COVID-19 coronavirus has world health officials fearing a global pandemic.

Purcell Public Schools officials have no plans to close schools in response to the developing COVID-19 situation.

Still, the district is working closely with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and Oklahoma State Health Department, as well as other agencies, to prepare for – and prevent – the spread of coronavirus.

The district’s recommendations to prevent the spread of the novel virus are largely drawn from common sense:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

And with spring break next week, the advice goes a little deeper.

Individuals returning from travel to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan or any other Level 2 or 3 country as identified by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should self-quarantine for a period of 14 days before returning to school. This applies to all students, teachers, and other school or district staff.

Anyone returning from a Level 2 or 3 country is advised to take the following steps:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your district before returning to work or school.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  •  Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet).

Superintendent Dr. Sheli McAdoo said district employees may use any available sick leave during a required 14-day self-quarantine.

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