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Coronavirus Update 3/4

As news continues to emerge regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Tuscaloosa City Schools wants to remind staff, students, and families that washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and remaining at home when sick or feverish are the best ways to prevent the spread of flu or other respiratory illnesses. This information will be reiterated to students in the days leading up to spring break.

Should your family plan to travel during Spring Break to an area with known COVID-19 cases, please notify the principal.

Although there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Alabama at this time, TCS and other school systems across the nation have been advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to "plan and prepare." The system is coordinating efforts with local authorities, including the City of Tuscaloosa and the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency, to ensure a continuity of efforts. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and his team have offered their assistance and support.

School nurses and custodians play a vital role in keeping schools safe and healthy learning environments. TCS nurses are available at all 21 schools to monitor student health on campus. The TCS facilities department is committed to both regular cleaning and increased disinfection of all high-touch surfaces, including school buses.

It is important to remind families that students who are showing symptoms of fever or other illness should not come to school while sick. Additionally, families are encouraged to provide updated contact information through your child's school office.

Good Health Practices:

• Wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available;

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash;

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick;

• Stay home while you have a fever or experience illness;

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

While the system is being proactive in its approach, these messages are not intended to cause alarm, but to keep students and staff healthy and safe. TCS has developed a special website dedicated to keeping families and staff informed. Prevention remains our priority.