The morning began with lessons on good hygiene practices, including instructions on handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding personal contact. Similar instruction has been occurring across our District and is scheduled for the foreseeable future.
We are continuing to work closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in promoting the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines:
- Hygiene: Make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly for approximately 20 seconds. If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow when necessary. Use a greater than 60 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you can't immediately wash your hands.
- Stay home when sick: Students who demonstrate symptoms of a virus should remain home until cleared to return to school. Students who show symptoms at school will be sent home.
- Limit contact: The CDC urges people to avoid close contact with people who are sick and to avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth. We urge all students to observe safe distances and replace hugs or handshakes with elbow bumps.
- Clean spaces: Clean and disinfect surfaces and frequently touched objects. Monrovia Unified will conduct additional deep cleanings of schools as needed.
- Facemasks: The CDC does not recommend facemasks for people who are well. People who show symptoms of a respiratory illness may wear masks to prevent the spread of the disease to others. For more information about facemasks, visit the CDC website.
We have also been fielding calls regarding a trip to Italy upon which some parents and their children embarked on Sunday. We have been informed that the CDC has issued a new advisory asking that all travelers from Italy self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines and provide the necessary educational support for our students.
I would like to close by also thanking the formal and informal support systems upon which we have been relying so steadily for the last 24 hours especially: the City of Monrovia, Monrovia Police Department, Monrovia Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the LA County Department of Public Health, and Hector Elizalde from Grace Napolitano’s Office. It has taken a village to answer questions and provide the necessary guidance to ensure that the students and staff of Monrovia remain healthy and safe.
We will provide updated information as it becomes available.
Dr. Katherine Thorossian