District Status: Schools closed remainder of school year; FWCS Offices closed 3/23-4/20 Fort Wayne Community Schools - Why FWCS

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Fort Wayne Community Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of our students, staff and families. As a part of that commitment, we work closely with other governmental agencies to prepare for crisis, including pandemic preparedness. On this page, we will frequently update information regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Be kind! As COVID-19 continues to spread in communities in the U.S., worry, anxiety and fear can lead to stigma toward certain groups. Stigma and discrimination can create fear and anger that is misdirected at our neighbors instead of at the disease itself.

FAQ FOR PARENTS

Pandemics are fast-moving and information can change quickly. We will keep you as up-to-date as possible as the situation changes.

Currently, there are two cases in Northeast Indiana. There are NO cases connected to Fort Wayne Community Schools.
We don’t know. Health officials believe we are just at the beginning and expect more cases.
  • FWCS is working closely with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and are following the recommendations of the CDC.
  • We have good policies in place for caring for students including isolating and sending home those who are ill, and we will continue to follow them.
  • We are making it clear to staff members that if they are ill, they need to stay home.
  • Our current cleaning practices are sufficient for keeping our buildings clean and preventing the spread of illness. Wee are putting special focus on cleaning frequently touched areas, such as door knobs, stair rails, etc.
  • Inside the classroom, students and teachers will be encourages to frequently wipe down desks and other surfaces.
  • A classroom or office cannot be sterilized. As soon as people return, the work is undone.
  • Mask use in schools should be rare and initiated only in specific circumstances.
  • Sick students with fever and cough that can not be easily isolated from others while awaiting parent pick up, may be asked to wear a mask as long as it doesn’t make them feel short of breath or interfere with normal breathing in any way.
  • Most surgical masks are designed to protect others from the wearer…not the other way around.
  • Masks made to protect the wearer are called respirators. They fit tightly to the face, and OSHA requires a special test to insure they fit properly.
  • There is no recommendation for students or school personnel to wear protective masks in the school/classroom setting.
  • There is some scientific evidence that wearing a surgical mask improperly for extended periods of time may actually increase your chances of becoming sick as you are holding germs from the air very close to your face.
  • Good personal hygiene, including frequent hand-washing for at least 20 seconds and use of hand sanitizer, is appropriate.
  • Students who are sick should be isolated, either by keeping them in the clinic or in another room away from well students.
  • There is no recommendation to do so from the experts.
  • There are many factors to consider, including the impact to the community. The students have to go somewhere. If they aren’t in school together, they will be in malls and day cares together, which would only shift the situation and could make it worse.
  • Well children should be in school learning.
  • Just as in the case of severe weather, we do allow parents to call their child in if they believe it is not safe to attend school. Students can have up to five such excused absences in a school year. Parents must call every day the student will not be in attendance. After the fifth day, only absences with a doctor’s note will be counted as excused.
  • Vulnerable children should ask their family doctor for advice. If the physician believes a child should be excluded, a note from the doctor will be needed for long-term absences.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at (260) 449-4499 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

FWCS COVID-19 Hotline (260) 467-1907

LEARN MORE ON THE CDC WEBSITE

What is coronavirus?
The Coronavirus is one of a family of viruses that can cause symptoms like the common cold and/or flu virus. COVID-19 can cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath and fever.

Why is the disease being called coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19?

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practiceexternal iconfor naming of new human infectious diseases.

* According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

If you have any symptoms of the virus, please seek medical attention immediately and follow the advice of your medical professional.

If you are considering international travel, please keep in mind that this situation is rapidly evolving. International travel to areas where COVID-19 is spreading may result in delays or possibly quarantine if travel recommendations change while abroad. The safety, health and well-being of our students, staff and school community will, as always, continue to be our priority. We will continue monitoring the development of COVID-19 and plan accordingly in partnership with local, state and federal health and government officials.

We will continue to provide updates to this web page as information becomes available. If you have questions or if you need to report recent travel to a high-risk location, please use our COVID-19 Hotline at 467-1907.

Can someone who has had the COVID-19 spread the disease to others?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

Isolation and quarantine are used to protect the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected.

CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS?

Student and staff safety is our top priority at Fort Wayne Community Schools. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.

Call our COVID-19 Hotline at 467-1907 or message us at Let’s Talk!

IMPORTANT LINKS

What can parents do to protect their family?

  • Parents should take the same precautions they would for any common cold or flu.
  • Family members need to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective).
  • Hands should be washed before eating, after using the restroom and when you come inside from outdoor activities.
  • Teach children to keep their hands away from their mouth, eyes and nose.
  • Cough and/or sneeze into your elbows or a tissues, not your hands.
  • Distance yourself from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • Encourage healthy habits, including eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting enough sleep.
  • Do not send students to school when they are sick.
Keep Your Family Healthy By Practicing Good Hygiene!

Wash your hands regularly!