The effect of the coronavirus on education

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The Edmond Public Schools system prepares for the coronavirus pandemic.

Halli Bratcher, Memorial Staff Writer

At the beginning of 2020, along with a new decade, our nation received a new virus. The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, originated in China, but the disease has spread globally. Although the only confirmed cases in Oklahoma are in Tulsa, what does this mean for the school system if the virus were to spread into Edmond? 

To keep the school clean and sickness-free, principal Anthony Rose says it all comes down to sanitizing the school and the mindfulness of students. 

“We have a great custodial staff that works very hard to ensure everything is cleaned and sanitized,” Rose said. “Students need to remember to be mindful in washing their hands and covering their mouths when they cough.”

With such a wide sense of paranoia throughout the US, it’s easy for hysteria to arise. Many people are wondering about the severity of the virus. 

“Currently, Edmond Memorial has not received many concerns dealing with the virus,” Rose said. “The district is very well informed and has been in constant contact with the State Department of Education.”

With spring break coming up, many students will be traveling to various states and some are even leaving the country. To prevent the spread of illness, Edmond Public Schools has a plan. 

With the well-being of our entire community on our minds, we will be sending an email to parents in the next few days asking them to please report if they plan to travel to any country that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has designated as a Level 2 or Level 3, which means a country has a great number of cases, and to fill out a form letting us know,” said EPS chief public information officer Susan Parks-Schlepp.

This creates a sense of relief throughout the district, knowing travel will be monitored. Although EPS has created a plan for traveling students, the pandemic plan is set in stone by the Oklahoma City County Health Department (OCCHD). 

“In the event of a public health situation, Edmond Public Schools would follow the OCCHD’s emergency preparedness plan and look to them for guidance,” Parks-Schlepp said.

Along with the Coronavirus, the flu has posed quite a threat this year. With both illnesses, cleanliness and hygiene is imperative. With well over two thousand kids at Memorial, it’s easy for sickness to be passed around. EPS Superintendent Brett Towne warns parents to keep their kids out of school if they are sick to prevent it from spreading.

If your child is sick, please keep them home from school until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication,” Towne said. “Please remain on the side of caution if you observe that your child has respiratory illness symptoms, such as a running nose, cough or sore throat.”

One of the most important things to remember during this outbreak is to practice good hygiene. Keeping oneself clean and properly washing hands is the best precaution students can take at this time. Students, wash those hands each day to keep the Coronavirus at bay. 

Contact Halli Bratcher at [email protected].