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Ballard County Schools statement on COVID-19 preparedness
Dear Parents and Guardians,

At Ballard County Schools, the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities. With the recently elevated discussion regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the news, including the first case in Tennessee on Thursday, we want to take a moment to reinforce preventive safety measures and tell you about what we’re doing to minimize risks of infection.

First, it is important to remember that at this time (March 6), there have been fewer than 250 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. District personnel are closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from our local health department, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Our custodial staff will continue to disinfect schools with hospital-grade products. We can protect our students, teachers, and the broader community by using simple everyday actions that protect people from other types of respiratory viruses. Our teachers, school nurses, and staff are working carefully to encourage these simple and effective habits below, and cleaning classroom tables/surfaces and buses daily. The CDC offers some tips on its website that can be useful in avoiding the spread of this and other illnesses, and we have a number of resources on our webpage, too, on the “Parents” tab here

We all play a role in reducing the likelihood of a coronavirus outbreak in our school and community. It is important to note that we are in the midst of our regular cold and flu season, so all of us should take preventative measures to safeguard against the spread of any diseases. Health authorities indicate that the best ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are the same as preventing the spread of colds or the seasonal flu virus. We encourage everyone to practice good habits, including:

-       Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Wash for 20 seconds, using soap and hot water. Be sure to also wash your fingertips.

-       If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

-       Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.

-       As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

In addition, please remember that if children are sick (fever, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.), they should not be at school. Students need to be fever-free (oral temperature of 100.4 or less) for 24 hours before returning to class after any illness. Keeping children home when they are sick is critical to prevention. 

No additional precautions have been advised for our district at this time, but we will continue to be in communication with our local partners and stand ready to take all appropriate measures. We will follow appropriate assessment and monitoring protocols for students and staff who report feeling ill, and we have a district contagious illness plan in place should the virus become present in our community, or on our campus.

We will continue to communicate with you in the days and weeks to come. Rest assured, we will act out of an abundance of caution to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Director of Pupil Personnel, Bob Wilson, at 270-665-8400, or email bob.wilson@ballard.kyschools.us; or school nurses Jayde Dodge (BCES) at ext. 2023, jayde.dodge@ballard.kyschols.us; or Payton Deweese (BCMS/BMHS) at ext. 2021, Payton.deweese@ballard.kyschools.us.

Sincerely,

Dr. Casey Allen

Superintendent

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