One local high school is reacting “out of an abundance of caution,” by asking 15 students and 4 adult chaperones to stay home after returning from Italy.
Those 19 individuals are not allowed access to the St. Joseph’s campus for 14 days.
St. Joseph’s Academy is alerting parents about this decision:
“The health and safety of our St. Joseph’s Academy community remain our top priority.
The coronavirus continues to dominate the news, and we share in the concerns for those who have been impacted by this disease.
As you know, 15 SJA students and four adult chaperones traveled to Italy during the Mardi Gras holiday.
As we informed you last week, the group did not leave the southern portion of the country and did not travel to any region affected by the disease. Out of an abundance of caution, the travelers departed for home two days early, arriving in Newark on Thursday night.
They were allowed to board a plane home with no health assessment required.In our attempt to give this issue the highest degree of diligence it is due, we have consulted with numerous individuals who have expertise in infectious diseases, including the Louisiana Department of Health and Office of Public Health.
We have been advised that the likeliness of exposure for our students and chaperones is extremely low. We have also been advised that given the timeline of the travel, these individuals do not present a risk to themselves or others.
We have stayed apprised of all recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most recent of which does not propose any type of quarantine or self-isolation for people who traveled to Italy and have no symptoms.
When our students and chaperones were in Italy, the country’s travel advisory status was Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions.
On Friday, February 28, after the group had returned to the United States, the CDC changed Italy’s status to Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel.We are sensitive to concerns regarding the possibility, however miniscule, of exposure.
We also recognize that uncertainty surrounds the disease.
As a result and out of an abundance of caution, SJA has opted to go a step beyond what the CDC and Louisiana Department of Health and Office of Public Health presently recommend.
Students and teachers who traveled to Italy will not return to school or participate in school activities until 14 days have passed since their return to Baton Rouge.
These students will be able to utilize various technology tools at their disposal to keep up with classwork and assignments.
We continue to remind everyone of the everyday preventive measures recommended by the CDC:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands regularly and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
We have sanitizing dispensers in place campus wide. Disinfectant wipes are available for use on desks, keyboards, doorknobs and other items in the classroom.
For the latest updates from the CDC, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Thank you for your support of St. Joseph’s Academy.”
Jan R. Breen
President Stacia B. Andricain