Carmel-Clay teacher in self-quarantine after returning from Italy amid coronavirus fears

Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 18:22:11-05

CARMEL — A teacher in Carmel who recently traveled to Italy is in self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, according to the school district.

The Smoky Row Elementary School teacher returned from Italy on Friday and volunteered to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to a message from the district sent to parents.

No one in Indiana has been diagnosed or has a confirmed case of the virus, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. The department is currently not testing anyone for the virus.

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Custodial staff at all schools in the districts are "focusing extra attention on sanitizing high traffic areas and commonly used surfaces," like counters and light switches.

You can read the full message sent to parents below:

Smoky Row Elementary Families,

We wanted to make you aware that a teacher from Smoky Row Elementary recently returned from a trip to Italy on Friday, February 28, 2020. We have heard from members of our community inquiring about a 14-day quarantine for any individual who has been traveling in areas where the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is present.

The CDC and our State/County Health Departments are not requiring exclusion for individuals who have traveled to Italy at this time. However, out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students and staff, the teacher has met with administrators and has volunteered to self-quarantine for 14 days. This staff member has not been diagnosed with the virus and there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools.

If a case were to occur, we would notify staff, students and parents from the involved school(s) and follow the recommendations of local, state and federal authorities.

We are committed to the health and safety of our students and staff, and wanted to let you know that we continue to monitor the situation, in partnership with the Hamilton County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health. The most updated information about COVID-19 from the CDC can be accessed online at this link. Information from the Indiana State Department of Health website can be found here.

As we shared with you on Friday, our custodial staff at all schools are focusing extra attention on sanitizing high traffic areas and commonly used surfaces including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, light switches, keyboards, and tablets. Please know that our custodians, teachers and staff are all working together to help prevent the spread of germs by continuously disinfecting their classrooms and reminding students about the importance of proper hygiene. School nurses are carefully watching the health symptoms of students and staff members, especially those who exhibit symptoms associated with viruses.

Health experts recommend the following to prevent the spread of a respiratory virus:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of the elbow. Throw used tissues away in the trash.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Stay away from people who are sick or not feeling well and avoid close contact with others through hugging, kissing or shaking hands.

  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as toys and doorknobs.

  • Seek assistance from your doctor or a health professional if you see or experience symptoms that cause concern.

  • Any student with a fever should remain at home until they are “fever free” for 24 hours.

Additional tips on how to keep kids germ-free at school can be found here.

Thank you for your partnership in keeping our students, staff and community healthy.

Carmel Clay Schools