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 Travel Letter for Staff/Families

 3/11/2020

​RPS 205 parents/guardians, students and staff, 

Rockford Public Schools administrators and staff continue to work closely with the Winnebago County Health Department and follow guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to respond if coronavirus disease 2019 – or COVID-19 – spreads to our area. With Spring Break next week, March 16-20, we want to make sure parents/guardians, staff and students are aware of the latest health recommendations. 

International travel: The CDC is working with state and local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions for people traveling to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea, which are described as Level 3 Travel Health Notice. That means there is widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19. Depending on travel history, it's recommended these travelers stay home for a period of 14 days after leaving that area with widespread or ongoing community spread. More information is available on the CDC website.   

Travel within the United States: The Winnebago County Health Department is asking people with plans to travel within the United States to be aware if their destination has cases of COVID-19. Travelers can find COVID-19 information from the nearest public health department. For people traveling to an area with community spread – such as California, New York and Washington, for example – the Health Department recommends staying home from school or work and away from public places for 14 days after you return – even if you’re not showing symptoms of COVID-19. Find FAQs for travelers from the CDC.   

Rockford Public Schools administrators and staff are updating plans if COVID-19 spreads to our area. Here’s a breakdown of some of that ongoing work: 

  • Nursing staff have submitted a request for updated diagnostic equipment. 
  • Custodial staff have increased cleaning on frequently touched surfaces. The deeper cleaning began during cold and flu season, and that practice has continued. 
  • The RPS 205 transportation team is using a hospital-grade disinfectant to regularly sanitize seats and frequently touched surfaces on our school buses.  
  • Tips about preventing respiratory illnesses have been distributed to parents/guardians and staff, and handwashing tips will be displayed in RPS 205 school restrooms.  
  • Nurses are assessing student symptoms, and they continue to monitor and track student absences because of illness. 
  • HR is monitoring and tracking staff absences because of illness. 

The safety and health of our students and staff is always the district’s No. 1 priority, and we will share more information when it is available.  

The public can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illness, like the flu by: 

  • WASHING YOUR HANDS OFTEN with soap and warm water.
  • COVERING YOUR COUGH, cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or a tissue that you throw away.
  • CLEANING SURFACES OFTEN, increase cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
  • STAYING HOME, if you or someone in your household is not feeling well stay home to keep others from getting sick.  

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, call the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@Illinois.gov  

Sincerely, 

Dr. Ehren Jarrett 

Superintendent 
Rockford Public Schools