Photo/graphic by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

From the Florida Department of Health in Orange County

This Friday, in-person learning at Orange County schools will begin. The Florida Department of Health in Orange County encourages everyone to take steps to stay healthy and protect each other from getting sick. Practice everyday preventive actions, limit interactions with other people, and stay updated on COVID-19 news.

For many families, back to school planning will look different this year than it has in previous years. Your school will have new policies in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may also be starting the school year with at-home learning. Whatever the situation, these tips are intended to help students, guardians and caregivers plan and prepare for the upcoming school year.

Children should be advised to do the following:

o   Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

o   If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer comprised of at least 60% alcohol. Make sure you are using a safe product. FDA provides a list of hand sanitizers consumers should not use. Adults should monitor children while they use hand sanitizer. (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-consumers-should-not-use)

o   Maintain a recommended physical distance from other people, including other students.

o   Avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devises, writing instruments and books.

o   Monitor how they feel and tell an adult if they are not feeling well.

Routines & Plans

  • Develop daily routines before and after school – for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately).
  • Be familiar with your school’s plan for how they will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 is identified and ensure student privacy is upheld.

Older adults and people with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19. If your household includes anyone who is at increased risk, then all family members should exercise the appropriate precautions.

People who live in multi-generational households may find it difficult to take precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 or isolate those who are sick, especially if space is limited. It is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of preventions measures to protect your family and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently created guidance for multi-generational households (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/shared-housing/index.html). Although the guidance was developed as part of the CDC’s outreach to tribal communities, the information could be useful for all families, including those with both children and older adults in the same home. You can also contact your local health department for guidance.

The Florida Department of Health Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts. Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

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