State Education Dept. helping KS schools stop COVID-19 spread

Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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The state's education leaders are helping schools protect students from coronavirus.

The Kansas Board of Education heard Monday how the education department is communicating with schools about the virus. Susan McMahan, with the Safe and Secure Schools unit, and another person are leading the effort to monitor the virus, how it is transmitted, and ways school may be able to stop its spread.

McMahan said the state is providing guidance on precautions including social distancing, and reinforcing proper hygiene, like hand washing.

In addition, students who have a fever will be sent home, which is already standard procedure to prevent spreading influenza.

"The good news is, what it looks like at least right now, is that young students tend to not be as affected as greatly as older people with a pre-existing condition but things can change with this virus. We're in the early stages," Randy Watson, Kansas Education Commissioner, said.

McMahan said accurate communication also is key.

"If you educate yourself on how this is spread - actually know the documentation and where to gain that documentation from," she said. "The biggest thing, especially at a social gathering, like the (state basketball) tournaments and different things across the state, is if you are sick, please please please stay home."

The education department is getting its guidance from the CDC and KDHE, and regularly updating schools.

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