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Key Message and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control
*Recommendations for our Action Plan are taken from Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and the virus has now spread to many countries and territories. While a lot is still unknown about the virus that causes COVID-19, we do know that itis transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing) Individuals can also be infected from touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth).
While COVID-19 continues to spread it is important that TCH takes action to prevent further transmission, reduce the impacts of the outbreak and support control measures.
The protection of our children and educational facility is particularly important. Precautions are necessary to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in our school setting; however, care must also be taken to avoid stigmatizing and discriminating students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus.
It is important to remember that COVID-19 does not differentiate between borders, ethnicities, disability status, age or gender. Education settings should continue to be welcoming, respectful, inclusive, and supportive environments to all.
Measures taken by TCH can prevent the entry and spread of COVID-19 by students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus.
FACTS ABOUT COVID-19
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. These symptoms are similar to the flu (influenza) or the common cold, which are a lot more common than COVID-19. This is why testing is required to confirm if someone has COVID-19.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing). Individuals can also be infected from and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth). The COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.
Who is most at risk?
We are learning more about how COVID-19 affects people every day. Older people, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, appear to be more at risk of developing severe symptoms. As this is a new virus, we are still learning about how it affects children. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there are relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. This is a new virus and we need to learn more about how it affects children. The virus can be fatal in rare cases, so far mainly among older people with pre-existing medical conditions.
TCH Action Plan to the Transmission of COVID-19
When there is No Community Transmission
In this Phase of Planning and Preparedness, TCH will:
• Reinforce Everyday Healthy Practices Among Students and Staff
1. Actions of staying home when sick
2. Appropriately covering coughs and sneezes
3. Washing Hands Often
4. Cleaning frequently High Touched Surfaces
5. Changes in Absenteeism
When there is Minimal to Moderate Community Transmission
• Reinforce Everyday Healthy Practices among Students and Staff
1. Emphasize actions of staying home when sick
2. Appropriately covering coughs and sneezes
3. Washing Hands Often
4. Cleaning frequently High Touched Surfaces
5. Monitor changes in Absenteeism
• Set Plan for Social Distancing When Necessary
1. Staggering Arrival and Pick up Times
2. Curbside Drop Off and Pick Up
3. Cancel or Postpone Events
4. Alter or Halt group activities
• Staggering Playground Recess
• Staggering Lunch Times
5. Re-evaluate Nap Rest Period
• 6 ft. Apart and Head to Toe positioning
• Provide Extended Operational Support
1. Intensify Cleaning and Disinfection Efforts
2. The Use of Proper Disinfectants
• High Touch Points
• Enforce Communication Protocol
1. Hawaii State Department of Health, CDC
2. The Children’s House Community
When There is Substantial Community Transmission
1. Continue implementation of Minimal to Moderate Transmission
2. Communicate with DOH, CDC
3. Announce to TCH Community of School Closure
4. Begin Distance Learning Program
When a Confirmed Case has entered the School,
regardless of community transmission
• TCH will follow CDC Guidelines:
1. Coordinate with Local Health Officials for determination and guidance
2. Dismiss students and most staff for 2-5 days or longer with guidance
from State Health Officials
3. Communicate with Faculty/Staff and Parents
4. Clean and Disinfect Thoroughly
5. Implement Distance Learning
Daily Procedures for Health and Safety
1. Sick students, teachers and other staff should not come to school
2. Enforce regular hand washing with safe water and soap, alcohol rub/hand sanitizer
3. Disinfection and cleaning of school surfaces
4. Promote social distancing within reason
5. Monitor students’ temperatures with Infrared Thermometer
i. Isolate Child with high fever until Parent Arrives
6. Monitor Absenteeism
7. Ensure safe school Operations
Personal Family Travel
• All TCH families and employees should heed the government travel advisories for CDC Level 2 and Level 3 countries. If you are traveling to any country on the Level 2 and Level 3 list, please contact TCH Office.
• Based on conditions at the time of return, the school may require a doctor’s note and/or an appropriate quarantine period as a prerequisite to granting access to the school campus.
Key Messages and ActionsCOVID-19 is a new virus and we are still learning about
how it affects children. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there have been relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. The virus can be fatal in cases, so far mainly among older people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Know the latest facts
Understand basic information about coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including its symptoms, complications, how it is transmitted and how to prevent transmission. Stay informed about COVID-19 through reputable sources such as UNICEF and WHO and national health ministry advisories. Be aware of fake information/myths that may circulate by word-of-mouth or online.
Recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 (coughing, fever, shortness of breath) in your child Seek medical advice by first calling your health facility/provider and then take your child in, if advised. Remember that symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough or fever can be similar to those of the flu, or the common cold, which are a lot more common. If your child is sick, keep them home from school and notify the school of your child’s absence and symptoms. Request reading and assignments so that students can continue learning while at home. Explain to your child what is happening in simple words and reassure them that they are safe.
Keep children in school when healthy. If your child isn’t displaying any symptoms such as a fever or cough it’s best to keep them in school –unless a public health advisory or other relevant warning or official advice has been issued affecting your child’s school.
Instead of keeping children out of school, teach them good hand and respiratory hygiene practices for school and elsewhere, like frequent handwashing (see below), covering a cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throwing away the tissue into a closed bin, and not touching their eyes, mouths or noses if they haven’t properly washed their hands.
Washing hands properly
Step 1: Wet hands with safe running water
Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands –including backs of hands, between fingers and under nails –for
at least 20 seconds
Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water
Step 5: Dry hands with a clean, dry cloth, single-use towel or hand drier as available
Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom/ toilets/latrines and whenever your hands are visibly dirty. If soap 8and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty
Help children cope with the stress
Children may respond to stress in different ways. Common responses include having difficulties sleeping, bed-wetting, having pain in the stomach or head, and being anxious, withdrawn, angry, clingy or afraid to be left alone. Respond to children’s reactions in a supportive way and explain to them that they are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. Listen to their concerns and take time to comfort them and give them affection, reassure them they’re safe and praise them frequently.
If possible, create opportunities for children to play and relax. Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible, especially before they go to sleep, or help create new ones in a new environment. Provide age-appropriate facts about what has happened, explain what is going on and give them clear examples on what they can do to help protect themselves and others from infection. Share information about what could happen in a reassuring way.
For example, if your child is feeling sick and staying at home or the hospital, you could say, “You have to stay at home/at the hospital because it is safer for you and your friends. I know it is hard (maybe scary or even boring) at times, but we need to follow the rules to keep ourselves and others safe. Things will go back to normal soon.”
How can I get more information about COVID-19?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published FAQs that are updated regularly: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#basics. Also, the Hawaii Department of Health has a website dedicated to the disease in Hawaii: https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019/.
Education of TCH Students
• Focus on good health behaviors, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands frequently
• Sing a song while washing hands to practice the recommended 20 second duration.
• Use puppets or dolls to demonstrate symptoms (sneezing, coughing, fever) and what to do if they feel sick (i.e., their head hurts, their stomach hurts, they feel hot or extra tired) and how to comfort someone who is sick (cultivating empathy and safe caring behaviors)
• Have children sit further apart from one another, have them practice stretching their arms out or ‘flap their wings’, they should keep enough space to not touch their friends.
• Make sure to listen to children’s concerns and answer their questions in an age-appropriate manner; don’t overwhelm them with too much information. Encourage them to express and communicate their feelings. Discuss the different reactions they may experience and explain that these are normal reactions to an abnormal situation.
• Emphasize that children can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe
• Help children understand the basic concepts of disease prevention and control. Use exercises that demonstrate how germs can spread. For example, by putting colored water in a spray bottle and spraying over a piece of white paper. Observe how far the droplets travel.
• Demonstrate why it is important to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
• Have students analyze texts to identify high risk behaviors and suggest modifying behaviors
CHECKLIST FOR PARENTS/CAREGIVERS
☐ 1. Monitor your child’s health and keep them home from school if they are ill.
☐ 2. Teach and model good hygiene practices for your children.
• Wash your hands with soap and safe water frequently
• Ensure that safe drinking water is available
• Ensure waste is safely collected, stored and disposed of
• Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, nose
☐ 3. Encourage your children to ask questions and express their feelings with you and their teachers.
Remember that your child may have different reactions to stress; be patient and understanding.
☐ 4. Prevent stigma by using facts and reminding students to be considerate of one another.
☐ 5. Coordinate with the school to receive information and ask how you can support school safety
CHECKLIST FOR STUDENTS AND CHILDREN
☐ 1. In a situation like this it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry. Know that you
are not and talk to someone you trust, like your parent or teacher so that you can help keep
yourself and your school safe and healthy.
• Ask questions, educate yourself and get information from reliable sources
☐ 2. Protect yourself and others
• Wash your hands frequently, always with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Remember to not touch your face
• Do not share cups, eating utensils, food or drinks with others
☐ 3. Be a leader in keeping yourself, your school, family and community healthy.
• Share what you learn about preventing disease with your family and friends, especially with
• Model good practices such as sneezing or coughing into your elbow and washing your hands,
especially for younger family members.
☐ 4. Don’t stigmatize your peers or tease anyone about being sick; remember that the virus doesn’t
follow geographical boundaries, ethnicities, age or ability or gender.
☐ 5. Tell your parents, another family member, or a caregiver if you feel sick, and ask to stay home.
The purpose of this document is to provide clear and actionable guidance for safe operations through the prevention, early detection and control of COVID-19 in our school facility. Maintaining safe school operations or reopening our school after a closure requires many considerations.
The Children's House
The Children’s House is an independent, co-educational Christian School with a Montessori approach, serving students from Preschool to Sixth Grade located in upper Pearl City.
1840 Komo Mai Drive, Pearl City, HI 96782
Phone: (808) 455-4131 • FAX: (808) 455-2748