March 12th, 2020
Dear Students, Staff, Parents and Caregivers,
As next week is the March Break, and I know many of our families and staff will be using this time for a well-deserved break, I felt it important to reach out with some important messaging given recent announcements regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Our local and Provincial health officials continue to reassure the public that the risk of contracting the virus is low, however, we remain vigilant in promoting best handwashing and hygiene practices, and will be making an extra effort to clean and disinfect school buildings during next week’s break.
Many students and staff are planning to travel next week and, as there are extra risks associated with travelling, we ask you refer to the Government of Canada website to check your destination before you leave to understand the risks and to be prepared.
While you are away, and when you return, it is important to monitor your health and make sure you follow the direction that we have provided including staying home if you are unwell. Self-awareness is key for containment.
Public health agencies have assured us that, at this time, the risk to Waterloo Region and Ontario residents remains low. In the event a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in one of our schools, rest assured we will take the appropriate steps necessary to mitigate the situation. In the coming days, we will continue to work closely with our partners at the provincial and local levels and will keep you informed as we learn more.
I want to reassure the Waterloo Region District School Board family that we are working closely with our partners at the Region of Waterloo Public Health and the Ministry of Education and are closely monitoring all updates from the Ontario Medical Officer of Health and Health Canada to respond to any concerns in a timely and effective fashion. Canada has a world-class healthcare system that is prepared to respond, and working together, we can help reduce the risk of COVID-19.
Please continue to keep an eye on our website (www.wrdsb.ca) and if you have any specific questions, the phone number for the Region of Waterloo Public Health is: (519) 575-4400. The Ministry of Health has developed an information sheet about the COVID-19 to inform Ontarians about the virus, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they think they have contracted COVID-19. The information sheet is available in multiple languages.
I hope that the coming week provides you with some time to relax and enjoy time with friends and family.
Director of Education