This week, the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services sent a joint memorandum to the directors of public and non-public schools, directors of public libraries, and public health officers to provide updated guidance regarding coronavirus COVID-19. Because the health and well-being of our students is our highest priority, I would like to share portions of the memo with you:

At this time, the health risk to the general public of Michigan from COVID-19 remains low, but schools and public libraries can take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. 

Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to spread via respiratory transmission. Symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath). The current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses are highly prevalent. 

Educating students, parents, library patrons, and staff regarding preventative hygiene practices include: 

  • Remain at home if you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.  
  • Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trashcans. 
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces. 
  • Encourage influenza vaccines to help avoid other seasonal respiratory illness. 

For more information about COVID-19, go to the Centers for Disease Control site:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

We ask that your family discuss these practices together; we will be doing the same at school on Monday morning. In addition, NSH staff will act promptly upon the recommendation to create an emergency response plan should any member of the school community be diagnosed with this illness. More information will follow.

Finally, to help keep hands and surfaces clean, we are asking for donations of tissue, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.  Thank you for your help!

-Cynthia