Earlier today, Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, held a press conference in which she reviewed and defined many phrases that have been used in the media. Understanding these phrases will help the Spring-Ford community better understand our plan for the coming weeks.
- Containment Phase involves trying to find cases early and trace all contacts to avoid the spread of the disease. Dr. Levine indicated that COVID-19 in Pennsylvania is at the “containment” phase with no known community spread.
- Community Spread means an illness is spread in the community with no way of tracing the illness. Again, Dr. Levine indicated that COVID-19 in Pennsylvania is at the “containment” phase with no known community spread.
- Social Distancing measures are taken to restrict how people gather to stop or slow the spread of illnesses. Social distancing measures can include limiting large groups of people coming together. Dr. Levine suggested considering social distancing measures for large groups and gatherings.
- Isolation separates individuals that are sick from people who are not sick. It is usually voluntary, but in an emergency, the Department of Health can legally isolate those who are sick. There have been no cases of isolation reported to the Spring-Ford Area School District.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to an illness to see if they become sick. Someone in quarantine may not be sick and may not become sick. As well, it can be voluntary, but the Department of Health can legally quarantine those who are sick. There have been no cases of quarantine reported to the Spring-Ford Area School District.
As of this message, the Spring-Ford Area School District has not received notice that any of our students or faculty/staff members have been exposed to the virus.
We have reviewed our emergency preparedness plan and have made adjustments to create a specific Preparedness Action Plan for the COVID-19 virus. As you will see, Spring-Ford is currently in the “Limiting” phase of our plan:
- Spring-Ford will remain in session. During this time, we will remain in contact with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. We will monitor activities locally and regionally, and we will continue the daily cleaning of classrooms, bathrooms, locker rooms, hallways and stairwells, cafeterias and large group rooms, and school buses.
- Our school administrators are allowing students ample time and opportunity to wash their hands, particularly around lunch and snack time.
- We will start addressing “social distancing” measures by postponing the String Jamboree, originally scheduled for this Thursday. Our Music Department is reviewing their calendar and we will be sharing the new date at a later time.
- We are also looking at upcoming student field trips and staff travel and will make appropriate case-by-case decisions.
If you have any questions or concerns about your health, or the health of a family member, please contact your medical provider. Any individual exhibiting flu-like symptoms are asked to contact their health provider immediately.
I understand that many people are feeling fear of the unknown and turning to the District for guidance. I want to assure you that we are making the most educated decisions for our community based on the information available. I will be communicating regularly with updates in our Weekly Update, as well in direct messages.
Thank you, again, for your support.
Dr. David Goodin