Ottawa Hills Local Schools and other Toledo-area districts are developing a unified strategy regarding the coronavirus disease and its potential impact on students and school operations. Superintendents of area districts, including Dr. Adam Fineske, will meet Monday to begin outlining a strategy. Assisting them will be representatives of the Lucas County Health Department.
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (as the virus is now called) in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The federal Centers for Disease Control reports 14 confirmed cases, 12 of which are travel-related. According to the CDC, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
Ottawa Hills Local Schools takes steps daily to prevent the spread of germs (which can help limit a person's exposure to viruses). Those efforts are intensified during flu seasons (typically December through March, according to the CDC). Among those added precautions: scrubbing the tops of every student desktop in both buildings at least three times a week.
In addition, our custodial crews for more than a year have used a new disinfecting machine that is a combination of electrostatic sprayer and special disinfectant. The Clorox Total 360 electrostatic disinfectant system is capable of covering every surface in a room quickly. The device sends a mist, which “swells” upon a surface; in the process, the mist kills whatever pathogen is present.
The Clorox systems are safe on every classroom surface, including desks. In addition, the district’s daily absentee report provides custodial crews guidance on which rooms to spray on a particular day. The two machines cost $4,000 each and were funded from the district’s Permanent Improvement Fund.
The CDC recommends taking these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.