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Superintendent Message Regarding Coronavirus/Healthy Habits

February 27, 2020

Dear Members of the DSISD Family,

I’m sure you are aware of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) that originated in China and has been in the news over the past few months. I want to assure you that our school district is keeping track of this situation through reliable sources such as our local health department, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  There are no cases or suspected cases within the district or in our community, and health officials believe the risk to our school community is low at this time.

Dripping Springs ISD will continue to monitor informational updates and follow the guidance of our local, state, and federal health agencies to keep our community informed and healthy. If conditions change over time, any decisions that may need to be made regarding a change to school operations will be done so with guidance and direction from the CDC, local health officials, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Region 13.

Much is being learned about this new virus. It is believed to be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, much in the way the flu and other respiratory viruses are spread.  Symptoms can be fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.  At this time, persons considered at risk are those who traveled to China, or those in close contact with persons infected with COVID-19. 

Based on current information, health officials are recommending that local communities and schools take the same steps to protect against COVID-19 that help prevent the spread of everyday illnesses like the common cold or the flu:

  • Stay home when sick.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover the mouth and nose with the inside of the elbow when sneezing or coughing.
  • Wash hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing the nose.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as toys and doorknobs.

DSISD follows the Texas Department of Health guidelines for illness-related exclusions from school. A student will be sent home if he/she has a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher, or any other contagious symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) and will need to remain home until symptom free for 24 hours, without the use of medications. Also, parents should call and inform the campus nurse of any confirmed virus diagnosis.

Our campus staff reinforce healthy habit messages as a general practice. In addition, our custodial crew is diligent about keeping our schools as clean as possible, using disinfecting products where appropriate.

Below are some resources for up-to-date information on COVID-19:
CDC (Centers for Disease Control):
Texas Department of Health Services:
A one-page fact sheet from the CDC in English and Spanish also is available.

Thank you for everything you do to support our district, schools, students, and staff.

Todd Washburn
Superintendent of Schools