Health and Safety Update: COVID-19

Ted Graf, Head of School
For the most current information, please visit our COVID-19 page on this site.
Dear Headwaters Community, 

We are closely following national and international reports about the spread of a new respiratory virus known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, named COVID-19. While no cases have been reported among the Austin community, please be assured that we are monitoring the situation closely.


Texas Department of State Health Services
(DSHS) public health officials say the risk remains low in Texas. To help keep our campus community safe, we can educate ourselves about coronavirus and take actions that prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, influenza, and other illnesses. If your family plans to travel over spring break, we recommend following CDC travel notices and do not travel if you are unwell.

The CDC recommends these steps for prevention:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

It is important to remember that the physical health of our community is equally connected to the social and mental health of our community. For our international students in particular, we extend our compassion and concern for this situation and the impact this may be having on their loved ones back home. Headwaters can help support students with on-campus counseling on the River Campus or through other support systems as needed.

We are also aware of the call for communities to be prepared in the event of school closures. We do not anticipate closures at Headwaters School, however, we would notify parents and the community in the unlikely event this happens through our emergency text alerts, news stories, social media, and website banners. 

While a new type of illness can be worrisome, we can protect our students, teachers, and the broader community by using simple everyday actions that protect people from other types of respiratory viruses. This is important not just to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but to help prevent the spread of other infections that can lead to student illness and absences.

Sincerely, 

Ted Graf
Head of School
 


 

 

Additional Resources

What is Coronavirus, now named COVID-19?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and cause respiratory illness. This new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) was first detected in Wuhan, China, and is thought to be spreading from ill people to others. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Here is a video that features Dr. Peter Lin explaining how coronavirus spreads and how to protect ourselves.

The CDC shares these facts below and you can read more on their site at this link:  

Transmission
Most often, spread from person-to-person happens among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unclear if a person can get 2019-nCoV by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. 

Signs and Symptoms
For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with mild symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
Incubation Period
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses

Treatment
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Prevention:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
The CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
If you have concerns about your health or symptoms you’re experiencing, please contact your healthcare provider and be sure to share your travel history. 

Resources:
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18 months to Pre-K
6305 Menchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 512-443-8843

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Elementary School
9607 Brodie Ln.
Austin, TX 78748
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Fax: 512-628-4810

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Phone: 512-480-8142
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