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York Schools closed indefinitely due to COVID-19 concerns

York Schools closed indefinitely due to COVID-19 concerns

York Schools will follow the recommendation from the Four Corners Health Department and Public Health Solutions and keep school closed indefinitely. Superintendent of York Public Schools Dr. Mitch Bartholomew posted this letter on the school’s website.

March 24th, 2020

YPS Students, Families, and York Community,

On Monday, March 23rd, superintendents in Educational Service Unit 6 participated in a Zoom meeting with public health officials from Four Corners Health and Public Health Solutions to receive COVID-19 updates and to listen to guidance on a possible school closure.  All ESU 6 schools received the following recommendations for continued school closure due to COVID-19 –

Based on the current epidemiological risk factors, and projections by state, federal and national health officials, Four Corners Health Department (FCHD), and Public Health Solutions (PHS), strongly recommend that all schools served by ESU 6 close (without students in the school) indefinitely.  This recommendation will be reviewed on April 30th.  While everyone is anxious to get back to “life as usual,” there is a strong possibility that schools will need to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.

This recommendation to close schools is not undertaken lightly.  It was made after hours of consultation with education officials at the state and local level, as well as ongoing monitoring of the increase in COVID-19 cases in, and in close proximity to, the counties served by ESU 6. 

FCHD and PHS realize that our recommendations carry economic and personal costs for thousands of persons in your school districts.  However, COVID-19 is easily spread from person-to-person, and it is not safe for large groups of people to gather.  The latest epidemiological evidence has shown that persons, including children, can spread the COVID-19 virus before symptoms develop.  This recommendation is meant to help our communities “flatten the curve,” and prevent community spread in the ESU 6 service area.  The only way to slow the spread of the disease, increasing the medical community’s ability to treat those infected, is to practice social distancing, including keeping 6 ft. between persons and limiting their contact with other persons, in large or small groups.  While children are out of school, locations such as shopping malls, movie theaters, bowling alleys, laser tag or other arcades, and community centers should be avoided. 

We encourage those who need general information about COVID-19 to call 2-1-1 or the NE Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Information Line at (402) 552-6645. 

While there is currently no vaccine or other medical treatment for COVID-19, there are a few things anyone can do to protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, and we encourage you to continue this information with your school populations:

  • Practice social distancing.  Stay 6 feet away from the person or persons next to you.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue away. 

At this point in time, York Public Schools is closed indefinitely and will reevaluate the COVID-19 situation on April 30th, and follow the guidance of local and state health and education officials.  YPS appreciates all the support we have received during this time and we are committed to making the best out of this situation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mitch Bartholomew – Superintendent
York Public Schools

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