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Local school districts send statements to parents regarding coronavirus

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Posted at 6:29 PM, Mar 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 19:29:03-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Elkhorn Public Schools and Westside Community Schools sent statements to parents on Sunday regarding updates on the coronavirus and potential exposure to a case at the Fremont YMCA.

Read the statements below.

Good afternoon, Westside families,

We apologize for another update over the weekend, but we are trying to communicate at a high level as we work together to deal with the complexities surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Again, we have no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Westside Community Schools. With that, we are sticking with all planned activities this week, to include Parent-Teacher Conferences. However, we understand some of our families might appreciate an alternate way to discuss their child(ren) with school staff. We also want to add further clarification regarding the February 29th event in Fremont as we are dealing with rumors, misinformation, and confusion from many angles.

PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES

If you don’t feel comfortable attending Parent-Teacher Conferences in person this week, please feel free to contact teachers and school staff via phone calls and emails. We simply ask the following:

· If you do NOT plan to attend Parent-Teacher Conferences in person, please let the school(s) know so they can plan accordingly and make the necessary adjustments to our teachers’ schedules

· If you call or email our schools to get an update on your child(ren), please allow several days to receive feedback

Elementary Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday between 4:00-8:00.

Middle School Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday between 4:00-8:00.

High School Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Tuesday between 4:00-8:00.

CLARIFICATION ON EXPOSURE TO THE CORONAVIRUS AS PARTICIPANTS VS. SPECTATORS

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has issued the following request: State and local health officials are requesting for basketball players, coaches and team staff who participated in the Special Olympics event at the Fremont Family YMCA on February 29, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to self-quarantine to limit exposure to others and monitor themselves for development of COVID-19 symptoms as listed below until Saturday, March 14, 2020. The Fremont Family YMCA is located at 810 N Lincoln Ave, Fremont, NE 68025.

We have since learned several Westside families were at the event in Fremont on February 29. Those that were participants are being asked to self-quarantine. According to health department recommendations we are aware of, those that were simply in attendance as spectators are being told to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 until March 14th. Signs and symptoms would be cough, fever, shortness of breath, etc. If any spectators at the February 29th event in Fremont referenced above would start to have any of these symptoms they can either reach out to the health department or to their health care provider. Again, only basketball players, coaches and team staff are being asked to self-quarantine at home and self-monitor until March 14th.

Thank you for your continued support as we work through this challenging time.

See a statement from Elkhorn Public Schools below.

EPS Families and Staff,

Yesterday, public health officials provided an update regarding the recently diagnosed case of COVID-19 in Nebraska. As part of that update, they indicated the diagnosed person participated in a sporting event held as part of the Special Olympics in Fremont and may have had contact with people in attendance.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has issued the following request:

State and local health officials are requesting basketball players, coaches and team staff who participated in the Special Olympics event at the Fremont Family YMCA on February 29, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to self-quarantine to limit exposure to others and monitor themselves for development of COVID-19 symptoms as listed below until Saturday, March 14, 2020. The Fremont Family YMCA is located at 810 N Lincoln Ave, Fremont, NE 68025.

Click here to read the entire release. http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Voluntary-Quarantine-Requested-of-Special-Olympics-Basketball-Tournament-Participants-and-Attendees.aspx [track.spe.schoolmessenger.com]

Following that announcement, EPS began working to identify students and families that may have been impacted. We have identified students that attend the following EPS schools as those who have a known exposure::

  • Arbor View Elementary
  • Hillrise Elementary
  • Elkhorn High School
  • Elkhorn South High School
  • Young Adult Program
  • Elkhorn Grandview Middle School

If the identified student was in your child’s specific class, you will receive a follow-up email from your building principal.

The students identified with known exposure are in mandatory self-quarantine as directed by the Douglas County Health Department and the CDC as a precautionary measure. It is important to note that at this time, we have no reports of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Elkhorn Public Schools. We believe that the students with known exposure in Fremont on February 29th remain symptom-free.

EPS continues to make the health and safety of all students and staff a top priority. As part of our efforts, we have increased routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces and are taking all reasonable steps to mitigate the community spread even suspending the self-serve choice bar at lunch. Also, we are suspending perfect attendance awards effective March 1 to emphasize that if your child is sick, please keep them home for the health and safety of all.

Thank you for your ongoing support during this evolving situation presented by this global outbreak. We will continue to communicate as necessary while working closing with public health officials.