MUSCATINE, IOWA–Late Monday afternoon, Muscatine Community School District officials confirmed a third case of COVID-19 in a Muscatine High School student. In their message to staff and family members, they indicated classes would continue as normal and that staff and students in contact with the positive individual had received notification. The letter stated, “precautions have been taken for these individuals to ensure safety of the school and district,” but did not specify what the precations entailed. Their full communication follows:
We received notification that a Muscatine High School student has tested positive for COVID-19. While we must protect the privacy of the person involved, we believe it is best to communicate transparently with you.
All classes will continue as usual. The Muscatine High School’s school nurse has been in contact with staff and/or students who are believed to have been exposed to the individual. Precautions have been taken for these individuals to ensure safety of the school and district. In addition, we have consulted with the Muscatine County Public Health Department to ensure this is the safest route in managing this specific case and managing the spread of this communicable disease.
We will also continue to follow all COVID-related safety procedures including requiring masks if social distancing cannot be maintained. Our custodial staff will continue to deep clean and sanitize classrooms and high touch areas each evening. We will also continue stressing the importance of thorough hand washing.
As a reminder, COVID-19 is transmitted through person-to-person contact and through the exchange of respiratory droplets. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. (For a complete list of symptoms, visit CDC Coronavirus Symptoms.) If you or any member of your family exhibit these symptoms, please contact your medical provider for advice immediately. Symptoms usually appear 2-14 days after exposure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Practice social distancing, leaving at least six feet between you and other people.
- Wear a cloth mask in public when you cannot social distance.
Our greatest priority is the safety of our students, staff and community members. It is important to remember that children are greatly influenced by the reactions of adults when facing difficult circumstances. I encourage everyone to remain calm and to be empathetic and respectful to those affected.
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your family, especially as we face this challenging situation together. We continue to ask for your support of Muscatine High School and the Muscatine Community School District by stressing the importance of the COVID-19 mitigation procedures in place so that we may keep our students and staff safe.