Safety First: Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter
With flu season in full swing and stories of a new respiratory illness called 2019 novel coronavirus dominating the news, many families are wondering how best to partner with the school to keep our community as healthy as possible during this time.
"Preventive measures such as thoroughly and regularly washing your hands and staying home while sick are important defense strategies," says Priscilla Scobie, Associate Head of School for Academic Affairs. "Most of us have heard those recommendations for years, but the reason they're repeated so often is because they're effective."
In addition to reviewing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Flu Report and tracking flu-related absences at Kent Denver, Ms. Scobie has reviewed coronavirus updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"Although coronavirus is the major health-related topic in the media, there weren't any documented cases in Colorado or most of our surrounding states as of yesterday," Ms. Scobie says. "On the other hand, influenza is currently widespread in Colorado. A number of our students have reported flu-like symptoms, so we're encouraging families to help us to reduce the spread of this and all other respiratory illnesses."
Citing CDC recommendations, Ms. Scobie advises following these tips to help the Kent Denver community remain healthy:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when sick.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
"Staying home when they're not feeling well is always a challenge for our students. They don't want to miss class, sports or any of the extracurricular activities they're involved in," Ms. Scobie says. "But we're fortunate that students and families also care deeply for others in our community, and they realize that it's better for everyone if students who are ill recover at home before returning to campus."
She adds that Kent Denver will carefully review plans for off-campus activities such as local field trips, national travel and international travel while respiratory illnesses are a significant concern.
"The safety of our students, teachers, faculty, staff and their families is always our top priority," Ms. Scobie says. "We are grateful for everyone who is working with us to safeguard our community's health."