Coronavirus Update & Spring Break Travel

Message from Superintendent Walker
Coronavirus

Dear IUSD Community,

IUSD continues to closely monitor the situation regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), while working with expert partner agencies to ensure we are providing our community with medically accurate and timely information. As you may be aware, on February 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made statements during a briefing that signaled a change in tone from previous communications by asking individuals, communities, governments, businesses and schools to be prepared should the United States experience an increase in COVID-19 cases. In response, the County of Orange declared a COVID-19 emergency yesterday afternoon. County officials stated that although there are currently no cases of coronavirus in Orange County, their goal is to ensure resources are available and that all residents and visitors to Orange County are prepared.

Health Guidelines Remain the Same
Although these new developments may cause concern for some in our community, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has informed Orange County school districts that the following guidelines, published in my February 2 letter, have not changed.

  • Travelers to the United States, who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days, will face a mandatory quarantine and will be monitored by public health officials.
  • Travelers to the United States from mainland China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days to ensure they do not pose a health risk.
  • OCHCA will exclude students under mandatory quarantine from school for 14 days from their last exposure and will communicate with Orange County school districts, colleges and universities to ensure high-risk students remain out of school for the identified period.
  • Students under voluntary self-quarantine should be excused from school during this period.

IUSD is monitoring global coronavirus advisories and we will update our community if the CDC changes its mandatory or voluntary quarantine requirements to include additional countries.  Regardless, we are informing all families, including new families, about the guidelines and that the District expects them to be followed to support public health.  As a public institution and in accordance with state law, IUSD is not authorized to refuse access to a healthy student.  We will continue to monitor and adapt to the situation as needed.  For additional questions related to travel and health guidelines, you may also contact the OCHCA by clicking here

To read the full letter I sent to IUSD families on February 2, click here.

Spring Break Travel
As a reminder, if our families travel to mainland China or the Hubei province over the upcoming spring break, they will be subject to the above guidelines and any new guidelines that may be implemented. For a list of countries with COVID-19 travel advisories, visit travel.state.gov. We ask that if you travel to any affected countries that you follow all related guidelines to support the health and safety of our community.

Newly Enrolled Students
IUSD schools are providing guidelines to families of students enrolling in the District, which are available in Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish and can be found by clicking here.

According to the Health and Human Services declaration issued on January 31, federal and state officials are screening travelers entering the U.S. at ports of entry. IUSD cannot and does not have the ability to monitor travel of our students and their families. If we become aware that students enrolled in our District have traveled from affected regions, we provide families with the guidelines from expert health agencies and work confidentially and with compassion to support our students.

However, in accordance with state law, IUSD cannot ask for forms of identification related to immigration status. This includes asking for passports and checking travel status.

To support public health, IUSD follows the guidance of expert agencies, as outlined above, and we expect our community to do so as well. This community effort will help ensure the health and safety of those who attend, work and visit our campuses.

IUSD Preparedness
Over the last five years, IUSD has invested nearly $14 million in the safety and security of our campuses and District, which includes emergency preparedness and management planning. As part of this commitment to safety, IUSD is in the assessment phase of continuity planning that began in 2019, so that in the event of an earthquake, wildfire, widespread medical emergency, and other human made or natural disasters, the District will be able to continue instruction and maintain the operations of our school district.

Our planning efforts are geared toward a wide range of options for safely serving students that could include blended and/or online learning in the event of an emergency. IUSD will continue to develop plans, as part of our normal preparedness efforts, and our staff will account for any new developments related to COVID-19. To learn more about IUSD safety resources and investments, visit iusd.org/safety

What Parents and Students Can Do
IUSD has and will continue to communicate with our students and families about the importance of:

  • Following all expert healthcare agency guidelines and IUSD’s health guidelines for students.
  • Keeping children home when they are sick.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or coughing into your elbow/upper arm (“vampire cough”) and teaching these habits to your children.
  • Frequent handwashing.
  • More healthy habits can be found by clicking here.

Updates and Information
As communicated, in my two previous letters, the District is committed to keeping our community informed. As we have updates, we will continue to provide that information to our community in a timely manner.

Language Support
Our language support team is in the process of translating this letter into Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish and will post them to iusd.org in the coming days. In the meantime, below are links for language support, please contact our team directly.

Thank you for your support and engagement. Through our continued partnership, we can support the health and wellbeing of our students.

Sincerely,
Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

*This letter was last updated on 2/27/20 at 6:30 p.m.

Additional Resources:

Additional Language Support:

Language Support Links