Coronavirus prep

Hand sanitation stations similar to ones at the entrances to Southeast Health will also be placed in schools.

Dothan City Schools have canceled all out-of-state school-sponsored sporting events and field trips amid concerns of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

In a letter sent to parents Tuesday, Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said the school is taking many precautionary measures, including temporarily discontinuation of student self-service and “share tables” in participating cafeterias.

“Although the risk is low, we would like for Dothan City Schools to remain vigilant and prepared for the safety of our students and staff,” she wrote.

In her letter to the school board, Edwards said the system is also looking at purchasing hand-sanitizing stations for all schools.

Schools are also beginning to enforce advice from the Alabama Department of Public Health that a child must be fever-free, without fever-reducing medication, for 72 hours before returning to school. The traditional advice given by medical professionals was at least 24 hours.

Houston County Schools Superintendent David Sewell said the district has canceled some out-of-state trips at this time, but it is looking at the trips individually. It may decide later to cancel all of them.

“We’re just trying to be proactive without alarming everyone, because at this time there aren’t any cases,” he said.

The system has already purchased hand-sanitizing stations for all of its lunchrooms and looking into installing them at other parts of the school, in addition to stocking up on hygiene products.

All school systems are in close communication with the Alabama Department of Public Health and will continue to follow its guidance and recommendations regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

At this time, there are no confirmed or suspected cases in Houston County or Alabama.

Prevention tips include:

» Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

» Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

» Stay home when you are sick.

» Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash.

» 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.

» Maintain social distancing of 6 feet whenever possible.

Dothan City Schools has also established an Urgent Update Center at dothan.k12.al.us/covid19

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