What is COVID-19, commonly known as “Coronavirus?”

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that range from the common cold to severe respiratory illnesses. COVID-19, the shorthand name for “Coronavirus Disease 2019,” is a new (or “novel”) strand of coronavirus first detected in China that has now spread to more than 70 locations. The virus is spread through person-to-person contact with infected individuals.

While the virus can be fatal to older individuals or those with underlying health conditions, the large majority of COVID-19 cases are mild. Typical symptoms for mild cases include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically present with 2-14 days after exposure.

Harmony Public School urges individuals experiencing these symptoms or who have been in contact with a person known to have COVID-19 to seek medical advice.

What is Harmony Public Schools doing to ensure the health and safety of students and staff?

The safety of our students and team members is our top priority. Harmony Public Schools follows the guidance and expertise of national and local health officials to help protect our students and staff from all communicable diseases. HPS will continue to be in communication with our local partners and stand ready to take all appropriate measures. We will continue to  closely monitor all developments and remain in communication with public health officials.  

Our campus custodial staff will also continue to disinfect campuses each day to help offset the spread of communicable illnesses. We also ask our students and team members to do their part by following the following recommendations;

  • Frequently wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds;
  • Cover mouth with coughing;
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth, or nose;
  • Disinfect frequently-used surfaces and objects;
  • Seek medical attention if you are experiencing a fever or symptoms of respiratory illness.
What should parents do if they suspect their child is ill?

Parents and guardians can help to keep their child, our schools, and community healthy by:

  • Observing their child for signs of infection which may include coughing, colds, fever, itching on the skin and scalp and unusual rashes.
  • Keeping sick students at home and seeking medical attention for severe illness.
  • Reinforcing the importance of good hand hygiene.
  • Adopting healthy practices, such as disposing of used tissues, coughing into a sleeve rather than into a hand, and not touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Keeping children home until free of fever for 24 hours (without the aid of fever reducing medication)
  • Keeping children home until diarrhea free for 24 hours (without the aid of anti-diarrheal medication)
  • Receiving the flu vaccine
How will absences related to illness and/or possible contamination prevention be counted?

Absences will be counted as excused for students who remain at home due to illness or suspicion of illness.

What should I know about travel/returning to school from travel?

Harmony encourages families to stay up-to-date with current recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Advisory. Travel to certain high-risk areas could result in mandatory quarantine by local, state, or federal health officials upon return. Additionally, students and staff members returning from at-risk areas are required to receive medical clearance before returning to campus.

Can my child wear a facemask to school?

The CDC currently recommends facemasks only for individuals who show symptoms of COVID-19 in order to prevent the spread of disease to others. It is not considered necessary or recommended for well individuals and could potentially lead to a future shortage of supplies for medical professionals who need these masks to perform their work.