The Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) has a comprehensive plan in place to manage potential outbreaks of infectious diseases. The district has brought together a team to update that plan with specifics related to the Coronavirus or COVID-19, working closely with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE).
School nurses are now staffing the Johnson County Community COVID-19 Hotline to answer questions from the public. Johnson County Department of Health and Environment number is 913-715-2819 and is available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The following information is from Shelby Rebeck, Director of Health Services for SMSD:
- Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever of 100.4 and above with a cough. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home. If your symptoms are mild, manage them at home. You should isolate yourself from family members in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom. Your family members should quarantine/stay home for 14 days.
- Being exposed to COVID-19 is not an emergency. If symptoms worsen and you are unable to manage them at home, contact your healthcare provider, urgent care, local hospital, or 911 for further instructions and/or recommendations. Be sure to call and make them aware of your symptoms prior to arrival.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. There are many ways to protect our immune systems: eat nutritious foods, get enough sleep, hydrate, and decrease stress. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Adhere to social distancing recommendations.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. In addition, CDC has specific guidance for travelers.
April 24, 2020 Update
Helpful Health Information about COVID-19
With so much talk about “opening up” and “getting back to normal” it is easy to become confused about the mixed messages we are hearing. It is important to keep in mind this basic information:
- There are currently no specific medications or treatments for COVID-19, but medications and treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials.
- Until there is a vaccine providing wide-spread immunity, we will need to continue mitigation strategies.
- Mitigation strategies include shelter in place/stay at home, social distancing, travel restrictions, restrictions on large gatherings, and hand hygiene.
- Consistent messaging by public health experts address the need for testing, contact tracing, and continued social distancing in order to “get back to normal”.
The best thing you can do is educate yourself by following reputable sources of information.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov
- Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, reports at Governor Kelly’s press conferences.
- Johnson County Department of Health and Environment www.jocogov.org
- Dr. Areola and Dr. LeMaster provide reports during Johnson County Board of County Commissioners meetings.
- KU Medical Center www.kansashealthsystem.com
- Dr. Stites and Dr. Hawkinson host a daily conference at 8 a.m. on Facebook live.