We have been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and its impact upon our school. With the wellbeing of our students, staff and families in our minds, we are implementing the following proactive measures to maintain our safe and healthy school and workplace.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies countries into three warning levels. Most recently, Italy, Iran and South Korea joined China at Level 3, which means that all non-essential travel to these countries should be avoided because of the coronavirus. Japan is currently at Level 2 because this country is experiencing sustained and ongoing spread of coronavirus. The CDC advises that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing non-essential travel to Japan and recommends that all travelers to Japan practice enhanced precautions including monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after their return.
Health & Hygiene
First and foremost, our goal is to maintain a clean environment for our students and staff. Our cleaning service is following specific after-hour cleaning procedures that concentrate on classroom and workplace surfaces. We also make available hand sanitizers and wipes in all classrooms and offices.
In accordance with the Hawaii State Department of Health recommendations, we encourage everyone to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness, including flu, with these everyday actions, at school and at home:
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Avoid sharing cups, water bottles, chapstick or any other personal items;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and
- Get an updated flu vaccination.
School policy requires students and employees to stay home when they are sick, especially if you are experiencing a fever above 100.4 degrees.
Travel and International Visitors
If you are planning to travel internationally for School-related or personal travel, we encourage you to check the CDC’s website for information for travelers to the country/countries you will visit and travel through. Also, check the US State Department travel advisories for those countries; to-date, “Do Not Travel” advisories have been issued for China, South Korea and Northern Italy because of the coronavirus outbreak. We recommend that you review the health and travel notices of the countries you will be visiting. Information about the spread of COVID-19 is changing daily as are these guidelines and advisories, so check these resources frequently. The following websites provide important information about the spread of this disease along with overseas travel guidelines:
All school-related travel and programs involving Level 2 and Level 3 countries have been suspended until the CDC lowers its travel advisory to Level 1. This includes travel to and from China, Japan, South Korea and Italy. All elementary program-related visits from China have been suspended.
With spring break just ahead, we ask Island School families of students and employees to avoid all non-essential travel to the Level 2 and Level 3 countries of China, South Korea, Italy and Japan. If you are required to travel to or through these countries, you must notify the School prior to leaving and upon your return. You may not be allowed to return to the school campus for 14 days after arriving in the United States, or other period of time as the School determines is appropriate under the circumstances. Additional steps may be necessary before your return to school including clearance from a healthcare professional. Keep in mind that the US government has also imposed restrictions on travelers returning from China, and government-imposed restrictions are of course subject to change. Also, we understand that airlines are cancelling or suspending travel to Level 2 and Level 3 countries. If you are traveling internationally, we encourage you to check the websites for the CDC, Department of State, Hawaii Department of Health and other relevant governmental agencies for up-to-date information about the countries you will visit or pass through.
Island School will continue to welcome international visitors to the school campus with the understanding that these visitors have cleared international travel and screening requirements at the federal and state levels and do not pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of our community as determined by the School. Such visitors are required to provide advance notice of their visit.
While we understand that there may be inconveniences caused by this situation, we appreciate your patience, understanding and cooperation. Our goal is to ensure the continued health and safety of our students, employees, their families and everyone in our island community. If you have any questions, please call us at 246-0233.
L. Shannon Graves
Head of School