Dear LGSD Families and Stakeholders,
La Grande School District (LGSD) takes the health and safety of our community very seriously. We have been receiving questions and concerns from our community about news of the novel coronavirus (respiratory illness) called COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that had not been seen in humans before.
The State of Oregon now has identified its third presumptive positive case of COVID-19. The first known case in Oregon related to the coronavirus COVID-19 was identified at Forest Hills Elementary School in Lake Oswego School District, the person who is presumed to be infected with COVID-19 has been identified as a staff member of that school.
LGSD is closely monitoring these situations and is in frequent contact with public health authorities. To be clear: All confirmed cases will be handled seriously by the local public health department. They will complete a contact investigation. If our students, or any students that attended an event, were exposed to a confirmed or presumptive case their families would be contacted directly or the school would be contacted to notify us of the exposure.
You can help yourself and your student(s) to reduce their risk for getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the flu and the common cold, by taking these simple steps which will also prevent COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with warm water and soap.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue, sleeve, or elbow (not hands) when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands.
- If you or someone in your household is sick, stay home and follow the guidance of your healthcare provider.
- Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and regular exercise, and by taking care of underlying health conditions.
- Make sure you are watching yourself for symptoms and take the steps we have outlined if you do become symptomatic. This information sheet has information about what to look out for and what to do if you do become sick: OHA COVID-19 Fact Sheet
There are also basic steps every household should take to prepare for any unexpected event:
- Learn about your employer’s sick leave policies.
- Establish a childcare plan in the event your kids need to stay home from school.
- Make sure you have the kinds of foods, drinks, medications and pet supplies you would want if you needed to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple weeks.
- If you are sick, stay home. Avoid exposing others by calling your health care provider if you need medical care before going to the clinic to get directions for what to do.
What action is LGSD Implementing?
- Our district has developed a COVID-19 Information Resource Website. Please explore this website as needed.
- Our district will be implementing procedures around monitoring absenteeism; Ensuring all school busses are sanitized after morning and evening routes; Increased cleaning and sanitizing throughout the school; Enhanced school cleaning; Social distancing procedures; Increased handwashing and Sanitizer procedures, etc.
More information and ongoing updates from public health officials are available online, including:
- You can also get information from Union County Public Health: https://www.chdinc.org/
- Oregon Health Authority (OHA): https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Communicable Disease Guidance: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Documents/commdisease.pdf
George Mendoza, Superintendent
La Grande School District