We understand that the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, is causing much anxiety in our community, state and the world. North Mahaska School District is working closely with Emergency Management, Mahaska County Public Health, the Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) and The Iowa Department of Education to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.
The North Mahaska School District wants to assure our families and communities that normal operations will continue for the foreseeable future within our own schools. As a public school district, we are working to be proactive and preventative, while operating in a state of preparedness. Each day, we monitor the current status and make decisions based upon the information that has been provided to us by the Department of Public Health, The Iowa Department of Education, and Emergency Management. We will continue to partner with and follow the guidance of these agencies.
What is Known
- The virus causing COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified, and causes a respiratory illness ranging from a mild cold-like illness to severe respiratory disease.
- Similar to influenza, the people who are most likely to have severe disease and complications from COVID-19 are believed to be the very old, very young and those with other chronic or underlying medical conditions.
- There is no vaccine or treatment currently available for COVID-19, so prevention is very important.
- Currently, there are a few confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa. Experts predict there will eventually be community spread. IDPH, Mahaska County Public Health and North Mahaska School District are preparing for when/if this happens.
How The Virus Spreads
- COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the common cold or flu spreads—through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes.
- People who are most at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 are those who have been in close contact (within about 6 feet) with someone who has the disease.
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
What You Can Do Now
- Keep children home when they are sick.
- Students (and parents/guardians) who are ill, especially with acute respiratory symptoms (not allergies or chronic conditions), should stay home. Students must be fever free without medication for 24 hours.
- Teach your children to always cover their cough and sneezes with a tissue or elbow.
- Remind them to wash their hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) after they touch their face, use the restroom and before they eat.
- Tell children to avoid touching their mouth and nose since that is how germs get into the body.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (everyday household disinfectants are fine).
- Enhance cleaning of high touch surfaces like door knobs, toilet handles and sink handles
- Plan for when community spread occurs.
- Ensure you have a plan to designate a caregiver, such as a family member or neighbor, for a sick child(ren) if you can’t stay home.
- Know your child’s school plan to communicate with you when needed, such as robocalls, email or checking their website.
- Eliminate travel outside of the United States. Notify the school office if you have or are traveling outside of the country. Follow the DPH guidelines for travel.
- Notify the school office if you believe you have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of the COVID-19.
Find up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Iowa at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow IDPH on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentofPublicHealth and Twitter at @IAPublicHealth, as well as our district website at: https://nmwarhawks.org/