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Update #3: Community Health Advisory (March 2)
Update #3: Community Health Advisory (March 2)
Posted on 03/02/2020
This important health advisory discusses the current flu season and COVID-19.
This message is also available in Spanish and Russian (PDF).

Dear BCS Parents and Staff,

Our 2019-2020 flu season is still upon us; this year has been complicated by the emergence of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. It’s important to note that no cases of this illness have been reported in our region or our state. Still, we understand that this situation has created some questions and concerns for our students, parents, teachers, and staff.

We want to assure you that the health and safety of our students and staff is, as always, our top priority. We strive to ensure that our schools are safe, secure, and inviting. The guidelines below will keep students and staff healthy and ready to teach and learn.

We are having ongoing conversations with the Buncombe County Health Department and our school nurses as we refine our response plan to COVID-19. Meanwhile, there are community plans in place that currently are guiding prevention and preparedness efforts. These plans also will help to guide response efforts in school settings should a case of COVID-19 occur in our area. Buncombe County Schools will continue to work with the local and state health departments, school nurses, and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to follow CDC guidance for appropriate response and control measures. These measures might range from everyday preventive actions to preemptive, coordinated school closures and dismissals if needed.

Our school nurses and schools are currently being advised to follow our same policies and procedures for responding to any other communicable diseases, such as the seasonal flu. Also, just like a normal flu season, our parents, staff, and students should take the usual precautions that are recommended for avoiding colds, flu, and other respiratory illnesses.

This includes good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene:
• Covering coughs and sneezes;
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
• Washing hands frequently with soap and water;
• And, Staying home when you feel sick or when you have a fever

Also, our schools’ custodial staff has increased their diligence in disinfecting all shared/common surfaces in our school buildings.

Please reach out to your school’s administrators or health care provider with any specific questions or concerns. More information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website and information about local preparations can be found buncombecounty.org. You may also email your questions to the Buncombe County Health Department at ready@buncombecounty.org.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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