Matteson School District 162
The administration of Matteson School District 162 is aware that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is on the minds of the members of our community based upon media coverage relating to the virus. Accordingly, we want to share with you the following guidance that we have received from Northwestern Hospital regarding actions that all of us can take in order to protect ourselves to the greatest possible extent from the spread of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, or any germs that may be present in our environment:
1) WASH YOUR HANDS. Soap and water is fine. You should be lathering the soap for about 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ once or twice in your head or, if you prefer, out loud). You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol). You don’t need to wash obsessively frequently, but wash before you eat anything, and after you’ve been out in public.
2) DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE. On average we touch our faces 3-5 times per minute! Germs on your hands get transferred to your mouth, nose, or eyes, where they gain easy entry to your body. Really focus on not touching your face.
3) Sneeze or cough into a disposable tissue and throw it away and wash your hands, or into your elbow - not your hand!
4) Avoid non-essential international travel. This is an evolving situation but minimizing risk seems to be a good idea.
5) Isolate yourself if you get sick - do not give other people what you have, even though it’s much more likely to be the flu (which is still circulating widely in the US) than coronovirus. If you must go out, wear a regular surgical mask to avoid infecting others. If you have concerns that you have been exposed to COVID-19 (fever, cough, and either exposure to someone confirmed to have the virus or recent travel to China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, or Italy), call your doctor to discuss next steps.
6) We do not recommend wearing masks if you are not sick. Studies of the flu have shown that mask wearing in otherwise healthy people does not decrease the rate of illness, mainly because people do not wear them correctly, take them on and off, reach under them to touch their face, and contaminate themselves taking off the mask. In addition, there is currently a global shortage of masks due to people hoarding them: meaning people who are ill and healthcare providers may not have the equipment they need to take care of sick people.
Matteson School District has purchased foaming hand sanitizer dispensers that have been installed in all our schools outside technology labs, lunchrooms, and school offices in order to provide our students and staff members with multiple opportunities to cleanse their hands throughout the day, in addition to washing their hands with soap and water. District 162 has also required that, before returning to work in District 162, any employees who have traveled outside the United States during the past 30 days must provide documentation that they have been tested for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and are not infected with the virus.
Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, Superintendent