Community Information and Precautions Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

For all Genoa Kingston parents, families and community members:

The district has been in communication with the DeKalb County Health Department, and has been following the Center for Disease Control regarding the coronavirus. Below is some information we have received and advice provided to us. Please read through the information provided, and know that the district is very aware of the situation, and will keep the general public apprised of any actions we may be taking or suggested to take at the request of the health department or the CDC.

The United States has experienced multiple (53 current) confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of February 25, 2020, including 2 in Illinois. This new virus poses a serious public health threat, but the immediate health risk from the virus to the general American public is still considered low at this time. 

2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus identified in December 2019 as the cause of an outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. People who get sick with 2019-nCoV develop mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Illness can begin 2 to 14 days after an exposure. Although this virus likely emerged from an animal source, it can also spread from person-to-person. Spread from one person to another is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic. 

Currently, the health risk to the general public from 2019-nCoV remains low, both in the U.S. and in Illinois. The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to detect new cases quickly and prevent community spread of 2019-nCoV. The coming days and weeks are likely to bring more confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the U.S. and globally, but strong public health measures now may blunt the impact of the virus. 

As with any respiratory virus, students and school personnel can protect themselves and others by taking every day common sense actions: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • 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. 

IDPH does NOT recommend: 

  • The use of masks or gloves 
  • Cancelling mass gatherings 
  • Cancelling classes 

At this time, no special sanitizing processes beyond routine cleaning are necessary or recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illness. Genoa Kingston CUSD #424 utilizes standard processes for routine cleaning and disinfecting with an EPA- registered product.

Again, know that GK is monitoring the situation, and we will keep families and community members informed if the situation changes.

Yours For Better Education,

Brent O'Daniell