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Update: Health Response Plan in Place

Friday, February 28, 2020

Cari Genitori,

We are writing to update you about the proactive steps we are taking to ensure that we are maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all our students, families and staff.

This week, our Leadership Team consulted with planning and health experts to create a Health Response Plan that provides us with a clear roadmap for decision-making depending on the situation. The Plan provides four risk levels with escalating actions in the following areas:

  • Campus Access Control
  • Educational Delivery
  • Co-Curricular Programs
  • Community Events
  • Field Trips
  • School Operations
  • Personnel
  • Emergency Care
  • Communications

We are currently operating at Risk Level 1 (Low Risk). We are following the Center for Disease Control and local health department recommendations for school closures and level of risk. The risk levels are as follows:

Risk Level 1 (Low Risk)

  • No La Scuola community cases of Coronavirus
  • Very few reported cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco Bay Area
  • Some countries declare public health emergency (not the US)
  • Airports implement informal screening mechanisms

Risk Level 2 (Moderate Risk)

  • Limited cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco Bay Area
  • Travel advisories recommended by WHO, CDC, government 
  • No school for students, families, faculty or staff exposed to COVID-19
  • Average student attendance remains high 90-100%
  • No advisories against non-essential travel to CA and San Francisco Bay Area
  • CDC, WHO, and/or regional health authorities declare a pandemic

Risk Level 3 (Medium Risk)

  • Few COVID-19 cases within La Scuola community 
  • Increased community spread of COVID-19 in San Francisco Bay Area
  • Average student attendance below 80–90% 
  • Increasing evidence of potential restrictions on airline travel / other forms of international public transportation
  • COVID-19 disease behavior or contagiousness changes to higher risk level

Risk Level 4 (High Risk)

  • Spread of COVID-19 cases within the La Scuola community
  • COVID-19 cases quickly increasing in the San Francisco Bay Area rapidly increasing
  • Government directs that schools be closed
  • Evidence that hospitals are unable to manage or meet health care needs related to COVID-19
  • Evidence of restricted airline travel or major travel restrictions 
  • Staffing and attendance issues at La Scuola

While San Francisco Mayor London Breed proactively declared a state of emergency for San Francisco, we want to emphasize there are currently no reported cases in San Francisco. Furthermore, the CDC states there is not currently a coronavirus pandemic in the United States. 

We are increasing the frequency of our cleaning which includes disinfecting door knobs, faucets, toilet stall doors and toys with a bleach solution while bathrooms are being sanitized each night. As a reminder, the most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to follow basic health best practices including: 

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth 
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue, not hands – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

We recommend that you keep your child at home for treatment and observation if he or she has any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever greater than 101 degrees (your child may return to school only after his or her temperature has been below 100 degrees for 24 hours)
  • Vomiting (even once) or diarrhea
  • General feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness or muscle aches, chills
  • Frequent wet or croupy cough
  • Red eyes with visible discharge

Please know that as a school we believe we have a responsibility to our community to handle this situation in a calm, fact-based and scientific manner. Our community is prepared to alter our procedures and planning should the situation change. We are also thinking ahead regarding the impact of spring travel, upcoming school trips, and other non-typical school activities that will happen in the context of the coronavirus.

It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the CDC or local governmental organizations should be followed. 

In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength and togetherness of our community. We will continue to communicate with you as new information becomes available. Please email us in the meantime if you have any questions or concerns. Have a great weekend!

Cari Saluti,

Valentina Imbeni, Ph.D., Head of School
& La Scuola Leadership Team