Cassia School District prepares for possible coronavirus threat

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BURLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — While states across the country are preparing for possible coronavirus cases, school districts in Idaho are preparing for it as well, according to Cassia School District public information officer Debbie Critchfield.

“Our communication to families and to the community, really right now, is no different than anything we would give them as far as health advice during a regular cold and flu season,” Critchfield said.

The school district is spreading the message of "be prepared, not scared," when it comes to the possibility of the coronavirus coming to the area.

“We have had not only instruction, not only from the National Center for Disease Control, but also recently communication from Idaho's Health and Welfare Department on how to talk to parents, what are some things to watch for,” Critchfield said, adding, “Smart health practices are still applicable during this time. Washing hands, etiquette for coughing and sneezing, common sense things such as don't leave the house if you’re sick.”

She also had these words of advice for parents and staff.

“Don’t send your child to school," she said. "We'll deal with the homework and attendance issues and so forth. And we also give that same advice to staff. That you know, we want them to take care of themselves and to stay home and be healthy."

The district says it's prepared if cases show up..

“If it looks as though people have been affected or infected by the coronavirus, certainly we'll follow whatever the national and state guidelines are," Critchfield said. "But for now, we're just trying to let parents be aware that we have guidelines."

Critchfield also said school districts across the state have been talking with each other.

“I'm aware of a family that moved into the Pocatello area, a couple weeks ago that had been in China, and so that school district then needed to employ what the guidelines are, there was a quarantine involved, and you know, no one had been infected with the virus, et cetera,” Critchfield said.

It comes down to being safe, rather than sorry.

“So to say, 'Oh, it's not going to happen,' or 'We don't ever need to worry about it in the Mini-Cassia area,' I think would be foolish," she said. "But we also don't want to set something out there or promote that we are fearful."

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