DOS Letter Re: Flu Jan 2020
January 22, 2020
Dear HIS Community and Friends,
Each school year, HIS reviews and modifies its plan for how to prevent, monitor, and address a range of potential health or security issues. Over the past few weeks, our admin and leadership teams have been discussing influenza outbreaks, including the novel coronavirus in Wuhan. We feel this is an appropriate time to remind you of our current health guidelines and procedures as related to prevention of the spread of common illnesses such as seasonal and novel influenza.
Our HIS community is highly mobile – traveling all over the world for family and business reasons. As such, we are all aware that the recent outbreak of seasonal and Wuhan flu has prompted Chinese authorities to put into place stringent screening and monitoring controls to prevent and contain the spread of any virus in its contagious stage. In effect, these measures have contained the spread of the influenza virus in China and minimized the impact on our educational program. However, viruses do not respect boundaries and with the flu season already commenced, we will be carefully monitoring the situation as a school-community, staying in constant contact with a number of health authorities, the Hangzhou Education Bureau (HEB), as well as other international school administrators.
Specific Actions Precautions at HIS
In cooperation with the HEB, HIS will be taking the following actions to limit the spread of infectious illnesses on our campuses:
1. Raising awareness of good health practices for all staff and students.
2. Ensuring extra disinfecting of premises on a routine basis.
3. Raising expectations for hand washing, especially before eating and after recess.
4. Increasing vigilance for flulike symptoms at school; expecting vigilance at home.
5. Taking temperatures of those who enter HIS, when influenza symptoms may have an impact on our ability to conduct regular operations at HIS.
• Fever (body temperature exceeds 38°C)
• Sore Throat
• Running Nose
• Unusual Coughing
HIS nursing staff and faculty will be monitoring for students with flulike symptoms.
Students showing these symptoms will be asked to be picked up to return home, and parents will be advised to seek medical advice and remain at home in voluntary isolation until the medical diagnosis is obtained. HIS may request families show doctor’s permission to return to school in certain cases of illness. HIS also reserves the right to ask families to self-quarantine before returning to school if they have visited areas of the world know to have high incidence of pandemic flu.
When Flulike Symptoms Exist at Home
Keeping sick children at home is a normal precaution that we encourage under any
circumstance as it is the most effective way to prevent the spread of flu or other infectious illness. As the seasons change, children will become more susceptible to getting sick. Parents are requested to keep their children at home if they are not feeling well – regardless of the symptoms.
Basic Good Health Practices
We recommend the following everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause enterovirus (such as HFMD) or respiratory illnesses (such as seasonal flu or novel virus):
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or
sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Use an N95 certified face mask if travelling or living in areas declared with
incidence of pandemic flu outbreaks.
- If you get sick with influenza, seek medical advice, stay home from work or school, and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Please be reminded that HIS teachers and nurses have been requested to work routinely with our students in taking the basic health practices as outlined above. In addition, we request that parents continue to work with their children at home in reminding them to follow these precautions.
For information on the current status of pandemic illnesses and possible travel advisories:
Center for Disease Control (USA): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2Fnovel-coronavirus-2019.html
World Health Organization: http://www.who.int (websites have various language options)
We will continue to monitor this situation and take appropriate action as recommended by our nursing staff and local/national authorities. While I know HIS will be taking its CNY holiday, you can be confident that HIS has contingency plans in place to maintain the educational integrity of our institution and the safety and security of our children. If you have any specific questions or health concerns in regard to illnesses and disease, we advise contacting a physician.
Jeffry R. Stubbs
Director of Schools
Hangzhou International School