CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Kanawha County Schools has released a plan for the school system to prepare and help prevent COVID-19.
The plan was released one day after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice hosted a Coronavirus Roundtable to make certain the state is continuing to proactively prepare for the potential community spread of COVID-19.
The plan says Kanawha County Schools Health Services is in daily contact with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, which is working with the WV Bureau for Public Health’s Office of Disease Control and Prevention. The bureau’s information is updated hourly from the federal CDC.
At yesterday’s roundtable, Secretary Bill Crouch of the West Virginia DHHR said West Virginia is still a low-risk state. The plan says the school system will use the same precautions in place to protect against the flu and other viruses such as regularly cleaning and disinfecting desks, computer keyboards, doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces.
Kanawha County Schools says ways students and their families can protect themselves include:
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before meals, after using the restrooms and whenever hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Always cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue. If tissues aren’t available, cough into the inside of your elbow.
- If soap and water are not immediately available, use hand sanitizer that has 60%-90% alcohol to help kill germs.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick with flu-like symptoms. People who display these symptoms should go home and remain home until all symptoms are gone for at least 24 hours.
If the novel coronavirus reaches West Virginia, and a student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, they must stay home for the recommended 14-day period that they are considered to be contagious.
The plan says suspected cases should be immediately reported to the school nurse or the KCS Office of Health Services. The diagnosis will be confirmed with KCHD. COVID-19 is an immediately reportable disease. If there is a positive diagnosis, parents will need to call the school and must provide documentation when the student is cleared to return.
If a student or employee has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, that school or office building will be closed for up to 3 days for a thorough cleaning, according to Kanawha County Schools. The school system will use the cleaning process recommended by the CDC. If a school is closed due to the virus, all extra-curricular activities for that school will be canceled.