Ottumwa Public Schools would like to provide our community with an update on COVID-19, commonly referred to as Coronavirus. While the first three confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the state were announced on March 8, the Iowa Department of Public Health reports there remains a low risk of exposure.
However, given announcements by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that Coronavirus will spread – in addition to cases of influenza regularly reported – we wanted to share some additional information about steps the school district is taking as well as steps you can take to help prevent the spread of viruses.
This web page will be updated as new information or guidelines are provided by public health officials. The left-hand menu contains additional information on Coronavirus. The district is also sharing information through social media from local and state health organizations.
Thank you for your support and partnership as we work together to maintain a healthy learning environment.
WHAT OTTUMWA SCHOOLS IS DOING
The district is in regular contact with Wapello County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and follows the guidelines and best practices from those entities and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) when it comes to responding to public health concerns, including Coronavirus and the flu.
Ottumwa Schools is currently working on our Pandemic Response Plan that will become part of the overall district safety plan. We have also reviewed our cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for schools to help prevent the spread of viruses. Examples of this includes additional work by our custodial staff to focus on high touch areas, such as door knobs, water fountains and hand rails, as well as posting reminders about hand washing. The district has also increased our inventory of cleaning and safety supplies should they become necessary. School buses have also implemented additional sanitation procedures to assist in this process.
Currently the Evans Travel Program will continue to travel on the trips that are scheduled since there is currently no travel ban by the CDC in the United States. Parents who feel uncomfortable allowing their child to travel at this time will be offered the opportunity to be refunded for the majority of their costs. Contact Ralph Skinner for additional information.
Until the district receives a recommendation from the Iowa Department of Public Health, district attendance policies remain the same. Students will be marked "unexcused" for missing school based on concerns regarding the Coronavirus.
Ottumwa Schools will continue to monitor the situation with county and state health officials. Should Iowa’s status change, the district will turn to IDPH and the CDC and follow any updated guidelines.