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BISD updates information on coronavirus

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Editor’s Note: Following is a copy of a letter Bandera Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Jerry D. Hollingsworth wrote on March 3 and circulated on the district’s website last week.

Student safety is our highest priority. We want to make sure you have accurate information regarding how the Bandera ISD is handling concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Given recent media coverage, we want to assure you that Bandera ISD is keeping track of this situation through proven and trusted sources: City of San Antonio Health Department, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on current information, health officials are recommending local communities and schools should take the same steps to protect against coronavirus as we take to prevent the spread of everyday illnesses like the common cold or flu:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

BISD is aware of the recent call for schools to be prepared in the event of closures. While health officials believe the risk to our school community is low, we want to assure you that BISD is closely monitoring this matter.

Additionally, we are taking a number of steps to ensure that we are thoroughly sanitizing our facilities on a routine basis.

While we do not anticipate closures of schools, we will have a plan in place to notify parents and the community in the unlikely event this happens.

While a new type of illness can be alarming, we can help our students, teachers and community by using simple, everyday actions that protect people from other types of respiratory viruses.

This is important not just to help prevent the spread of coronavirus but to help prevent the spread of other infections that can lead to student illness or absences.

Please see the following links for more information: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov); the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department (www. sanantonio.gov/health); the Texas Department of State Health Services (www.dshs.texas.gov); and the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory site https:// travel.state.gov/content/ travel/en/traveladvisories/ traveladvisories.html/).

We appreciate you taking these steps to ensure that we keep our community safe and healthy.