Dear Arcadia Unified Parents and Community,
We are continuing to monitor the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and wanted to provide another update and the latest information. There are six new cases that have been reported in Los Angeles County. With this news today, a local public health emergency was declared out of “an abundance of caution.” At this time, there is still no known cases of community spread in our area. "There's either a travel history to an area with an outbreak, there's exposure to known travelers coming from areas where there's an outbreak, or the person is in close contact with a confirmed case," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. You can read more details on today’s news via this article from NBC Los Angeles, which also has the full video of today’s press conference. This evening, California also declared a statewide emergency.
Since the first case of coronavirus in Los Angeles County was reported at the end of January, our custodial team has increased sanitation efforts in all of our schools and throughout the district. Our team will continue spending additional time and increasing its frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, especially in regard to high-traffic areas and touchpoints. These areas include the following:
- Tabletops and desks
- Handrails and push bars
- Water fountains
- Light switches
In addition to these hygiene measures at schools and throughout the district, our transportation department will be increasing its cleaning protocols and will be wiping and disinfecting buses each school day. Our custodial and maintenance staff will also be provided with additional hygiene training with a focus on the coronavirus.
We have reviewed, updated, and are ready to implement our pandemic plan if needed. Part of our plan includes the ability to continue to offer our students an education remotely if schools need to close. We are confident in our ability to do this if it becomes necessary, especially with every student and teacher in our district having access to their own Chromebook. We will continue to review and analyze our options and will remain in close contact with the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the California Department of Education for further guidance if this option is needed.
Increased Precautionary Steps Arcadia Unified is Taking:
- An increased measure of disinfection in high-traffic areas and touchpoints, such as doors, restrooms, classrooms, and other common areas
- Ensuring all soap dispensers are continuously refilled and providing sanitation stations as needed
- Encouraging increased handwashing to our students and staff while at school
- Reviewed, updated, and prepared to implement our pandemic plan if needed
- Dedicating additional administrators and staff to help monitor, coordinate, and communicate
- Multiple daily meetings among staff to discuss, coordinate, prepare, and communicate
- Continuing to work with local, county, and state medical and education officials to monitor the latest developments and coordinate our local efforts
- Continuing to update our dedicated Coronavirus Webpage and Facebook Page
- Providing resources, such as this video which helps explain the coronavirus to kids
New Health Protocol:
The LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has also updated the criteria for identifying and excluding students who are ill. The LACDPH is asking that school districts include an additional criterion as follows:
- Productive moist cough (spewing respiratory droplets) – even without fever should stay home.
As always, AUSD will make every effort to assess for illness in a timely, efficient, and sensitive manner. We continue to remind parents to keep their children home if they are sick. You can view all of our health guidelines for when to keep your child home in our previous updates on our website.
Before new students enroll in any of our schools, they are asked about travel. Any families that have recently traveled internationally must have been in the United States for 14 days and healthy before enrolling and entering our schools. These precautionary measures are in addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel restrictions and monitoring at airports, including the Los Angeles International Airport. As always, we will continue to be welcoming and inviting to any new students and families who join us in AUSD.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and staff, and we take this responsibility very seriously. We are committed to updating our dedicated Coronavirus webpage on a nearly daily basis with new resources, press briefings, and news articles, along with all of our previous communications. You can view this communication, our seventh, (in English and Chinese) and all the previous communications we have sent to all parents and staff on our website. If you or someone you know needs additional language support, please let us know. We also encourage you to follow our Facebook page and Twitter page, where we will share additional coronavirus information and Arcadia Unified news. You can sign up for our Arcadia Unified Community Email List here, or encourage others to do so, to ensure receipt of our communications.
If we all continue to work together and follow these important guidelines, we can help keep our students, staff, and community healthy. Please share this information with your family and caregivers. We truly value your partnership in this and greatly appreciate your support for all of our students, staff, and community.
Arcadia Unified School District