Coronaviruses are common and are estimated to cause about 33% of common colds. Health organizations are still learning about the novel strain, COVID-19. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) collaboratively take the lead on decisions regarding school closures or other impact on schools that could result from outbreaks of contagious conditions. They monitor local and national health concerns and are connected with major health organizations with access to up-to-date information.
The most significant things you can do to protect yourself and your family from contagious conditions are the same preventative practices that we promote every year during cold and flu season:
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Wash for 20 seconds, using soap and hot water. Be sure to also wash your fingertips.
- Cover a cough. Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- Children or adults who are feeling sick should stay home from school and activities. Consult your healthcare provider for guidance.
Alcohol-Based Hand Rub/Hand Sanitizers
The FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol).
In July 2020, the FDA warned of hand sanitizer containing methanol, a wood-based alcohol. For complete info go to the FDA site for recall information
Face Coverings Required
School district employees, K-12 students, visitors and vendors are included in Gov. Tim Walz’ Executive Order requiring face coverings in all public and business indoor spaces to control the spread of COVID-19. This order is effective beginning July 25, 2020. Find more information on this MDH web page.
Social Distancing: What Does It Mean?
MDH Social Distancing Guidelines. Social distancing means reducing close contact between people to slow the spread of infectious diseases. Slowing the spread of the virus will help our hospitals care for patients. Here is a list of guidelines for social distancing.