BOISE, Idaho — Schools can play an important role in efforts taken by health officials to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, and the State Department of Education is circulating helpful links and information to all school districts and charter schools in Idaho.
“Student and community health is a prime concern for the State Department of Education, as it is for our many school districts and charter schools,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “Idahoans have many questions about coronavirus, and making answers and helpful information widely available helps calm concerns and encourage precautions.”
The U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have encouraged state and local education agencies to share crucial information about the disease and its potential transmission to students, families, staff and community members. Should state and local health officials deem it necessary to take additional steps to stop the spread of COVID-19, schools are in a unique position to help.
On the state level, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare maintains a web page with current Idaho-specific COVID-19 information, including specific recommendations for Idaho school administrators and staff.
- IDHW recommended school procedures and practices
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Web Page
- CDC Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children
The CDC also has published Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and encourages schools to continue promoting these time-tested everyday disease prevention strategies:
- If you are sick, stay home from school.
- Avoid close contact with those who are already sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
Schools may also share relevant CDC fact sheets to help students, families, and staff understand COVID-19 along with steps they can take to protect themselves:
- What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- What to do if you are sick
- Stop the spread of germs – help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education maintains a COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel web page that is updated as new information becomes available. They also maintain an email address -- COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org -- that schools may contact with questions about the disease.