PALM SPRINGS — At this time, there are no recommendations to change daily operations, close schools or cancel activities due to the coronavirus, Palm Springs Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Sandra Lyon told parents on Monday, March 10. Still, she said, the situation is fluid, and we are working on contingency plans should the situation change.

At the time she wrote the letter there was one confirmed case of coronavirus in Riverside County. There are now at least three cases in Riverside County.

You may read the entire letter by clicking here.

According to the County Department of Public Health, the person she inititally referred to is receiving medical treatment at a local hospital and is not connected to any schools in the Coachella Valley or Riverside County.

“We are working closely with our Riverside County Public Health Department officials on any steps we need to take regarding school closures or curtailing of activities,” Lyon told parents.

The letter was sent electronically via Peachjar. It is also on the district’s website and posted on social media.

Following are some Frequently Asked Questions that Lyon said she hoped would address some of the district’s families’ concerns:

What are you doing to prevent the spread of germs that could cause the spread of the virus?

  • All classrooms are being sanitized by our custodial staff daily. All teachers are being provided with a cleaning solution to use in their classrooms throughout the school day.
  • Soap and hand sanitizer dispensers are being kept filled, and we are encouraging students and staff to wash their hands frequently and properly.
  • Our bus contractor, First Student, has protocols in place for complete sanitizing of the interiors of buses daily.
  • We are advising our students to avoid close contact with anyone who appears sick; avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth; stay home if you are sick; cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw it away; and avoid handshaking or fist bumping.

If one or more schools are closed, will you be providing student meals?

  • Yes. Our Nutrition Services Department is prepared to set up locations for pick-up of student meals in the event of the need to close one or more schools. Those sites will be determined and announced as needed.

Do you have plans for distance learning if a school(s) needs to close?

  • Our Educational Services team has an educational continuity plan, in the event of extended school or District closure.

What should parents be doing at this time?

  • Keep sick children at home.
  • Encourage family preventative measures listed above (i.e.: proper hand washing, social distancing).
  •  Send well children to school so they do not miss important instruction.
  •  Direct questions or concerns to site administrators.

“We will continue to provide our families with any changes in plans or procedures as warranted.,” Lyon said. “We appreciate your support at this important time and assure you that we are working in cooperation with local health officials to maintain the health and safety of all of our students and staff.”

Asked if the school district has surveyed teachers, substitutes and/or administrative personnel to determine if any have returned from a recent cruise or from an area at elevated risk or exposure, Joan Boiko, a spokesperson for the school district, told Uken Report, “We (and all county districts) are working closely with Riverside County Public Health Department. We have received no direction or recommendation from that that we should be doing any surveying of this kind.”



Image Sources

  • Hand sanitizer: Shutterstsock