Schools prepare for spring break travels as coronavirus concerns grow

KNWA

"Rarely does someone sit there and wash their hands for 20 seconds, but this day and time with a virus that nobody has any immunity against, your best protection is good hand-washing," Dr. Ratcliff said.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As coronavirus concerns continue to grow, many parents worry about spring break traveling and how it’ll affect their children’s health.

We want everyone to have a good time and [an] enjoyable spring break, [but] we do need them to know that anything that they’re doing they’re doing at their own risk at the same time.

RICK SCHAEFFER, SPRINGDALE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Springdale Public Schools Communications Director Rick Schaeffer said as a district, they certainly can’t tell anyone where they can and can’t go during spring break, but he does want parents to be cautious when booking their trips.

“Our deputy superintendent had a family trip booked to Switzerland [but] he’s not gonna go, he had to cancel it,” Schaeffer said. “Everybody has to make their own decisions, and he felt at [least] that way he could assure the district that he was certainly safe to stay around.”

Washington Regional

Washington Regional Chief Medical Officer Doctor David Ratcliff said to start taking precautions now, the best thing you can do is wash your hands.

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

“Rarely does someone sit there and wash their hands for 20 seconds, but this day and time with a virus that nobody has any immunity against, your best protection is good hand-washing,” Dr. Ratcliff said.

He said it’s only a matter of time before the coronavirus reaches Northwest Arkansas, especially if people are traveling — so until then he said to make sure you are keeping yourself healthy.

Meanwhile, Schaeffer said if everyone follows the rules of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when choosing their vacation destination, everything should be fine.

“The one thing that we would caution any of our staff members or any family members taking their kids [somewhere] and they come back and have been exposed to the virus and have to be quarantined,” Schaeffer said. “We absolutely will not have them in school until their quarantine time is over.”

KNWA/KFTA reached out to other schools to see what coronavirus plans the districts have in place.

On March 10, Fayetteville Public Schools sent teachers and students a coronavirus plan. For more info, click here.

Rogers Public Schools is recommending following the appropriate health department guidelines. For more info, click here.

Bentonville Public Schools is working out a plan now. For more info, click here.

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