Howard Elementary School

Coronavirus Letter from Superintendent

Greetings Dearborn Community,

Typically, national and world events are only a
small part of our daily dialogue but on occasion they can grow to a point where
they consume and dominate our conversation. This is the current status
regarding the discussions taking place about COVID-19, or more commonly known
as the coronavirus.  

According to the Michigan Department of Health
and Human Services, as of February 28, 2020 there were five people tested in
the state of Michigan (3-Washtenaw,
1-Macomb, 1-Oakland) for the  COVID-19
(coronavirus) and fortunately results showed that none of the five tested had
the virus. 

There are many news stories, articles, and
websites providing information about this new strain of the flu virus and it is
vitally important for all of us to keep focused on accurate information.
Several articles indicate that more people may be infected by this virus but
there are no forecasts on how many, where, or for how long this will
continue.   

As state, county, and local government agencies
begin to formulate plans to address the possibility of a potential widespread
outbreak, our administrative team has also been monitoring developments related
to COVID-19 (coronavirus). We have been in contact with a variety of
educational organizations such as the Michigan Department of Education, Wayne
RESA (our local Intermediate School District), Michigan Association of School
Administrators (MASA), and others in developing protocols and procedures that
would aid in preparing our district in the event of a widespread outbreak in our
community.  

We are also closely following the medical
recommendations from health care professionals such as the U.S. Center for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health, and
the Wayne County Health Department. These sources remain the best place for the
most accurate information regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).  We are also
very fortunate to have nurses on our staff who have a professional relationship
with these organizations and can provide us with timely information. 

While the CDC has not yet provided formal
guidance for schools on how to prepare for a potential community outbreak, the
State of Michigan, Wayne County Health Department and other local health
departments have emergency preparedness systems ready to be activated if an
outbreak occurs in Michigan. Our own staff has been in contact with the City of
Dearborn’s Emergency Manager to ensure we are able to coordinate efforts if
needed. Also, we are talking with our cleaning supply vendors in order to make
sure we are using recommended products and methods to keep schools clean and
safe. 

As we have done in the past, when other flu
related illness was a concern, it is important to remind everyone that the CDC
recommends following these simple but very effective methods to limit the
spread of respiratory diseases:  

  • Always thoroughly wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • When soap and water is not available, use hand
    sanitizer to wash hands. 
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or cloth when
    sneezing and/or coughing.
  • Stay home when you are sick. (This is a good habit to
    follow for any illness but even more important given the unknowns
    surrounding  COVID-19)
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a
    facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including
    COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of
    COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. 

If you are planning to travel overseas it is
important to stay up to date on any travel advisories issued by the federal
government and consider postponing travel in areas of concern.  Additional
information is available on the Michigan Department of Health and Human
Services website including a downloadable fact sheet in English and Arabic.
Information is also available on the CDC website. 

The spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) is a
serious topic that needs to be closely monitored and requires all of us to stay
informed.  We all need to show restraint in sharing any unsubstantiated
reports on social media or other internet outlets. Creating unnecessary panic
by spreading rumors will only create more fear in our community.  Our
schools, our city, and our community will need to continue to stay informed as
we work together to keep all of us safe and healthy. 

Regards,

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/cJiS2kiCJYksupv9zfqpznDSYqwONtYQ5VBSWxxerkxpcyAw2TqsmYowDbtX8MtUlmo5vih02q26GG0OJaSnhgxcIw1aoyCGhzRThtEWAziaToAWdHLFW-o9l3SjvO_peTw3c1n1

Glenn M. Maleyko, Ph.D.

Superintendent