Update from Dr. Sovine on VDH Interim Guidance for Childcare Programs and K-12

March 10, 2020

Although there are currently no confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, Frederick County Public Schools has been working collaboratively for several weeks with local, state and federal public health agencies to closely monitor COVID-19 and to adhere to any guidance provided by public health officials.

On Sunday, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) released interim guidance for childcare programs and K-12 schools regarding COVID-19. I’m pleased to share that before the guidance was provided two days ago, our school division had already accomplished all of the actions the VDH recommends be taken prior to detection of COVID-19 in the community. Those actions include reviewing our emergency operations plans, monitoring student and staff attendance, establishing procedures for those who are sick at school, providing prevention information to our school communities and providing additional hand hygiene supplies throughout school buildings.

While we hope this health concern will pass quickly, we are prepared to respond should COVID-19 be detected in our community. We are prepared to respond quickly and follow the guidance provided by public health agencies. As noted in the interim guidance provided by the VDH, recommendations addressing any change in normal operations will depend on a variety of factors. Assessing those factors will help inform any recommendations made by the local health department.

In closing, I want to remind you of steps we all can take to help prevent the spread of illness, including COVID-19.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Hand sanitizer is also effective and is available in all schools.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • If you get sick or have a fever, stay home from school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
This is a fluid situation that we will continue to monitor closely. As new information becomes available, we will make you aware through our many communication outlets including the FCPS Rapid Communication System, the FCPS website and social media sites.

Dr. David T. Sovine
Superintendent of Schools