Prioritizing Health This Winter

Dear community member,

There is no doubt that winter and the holiday season are here, meaning it is an especially important to prioritize health.

Influenza A, RSV and COVID-19 are currently widespread in our community, and many of our schools are experiencing high rates of student absences due to illness. 

We meet regularly with Public Health officials and providers as part of the Pediatric Health Workgroup, and are encouraging everyone in our school community to follow these best practices recommended by the Santa Cruz County Public Health Department:

  • Get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 updated booster (click here)

  • Stay home if sick

  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces 

  • Get tested for COVID-19 (click here)

  • Pick up COVID19 antigen tests from your school and test before returning after the break

  • Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces

  • Wash your hands

Flyers with these, and other, tips are available in English and Spanish.

As always, you should seek emergency medical care if your symptoms are severe, such as difficulty breathing, intense chest pain or severe weakness, or elevated temperature. 

However, our local health officials are cautioning that we should avoid the emergency department for mild to moderate symptoms. As was reported earlier this week, demand on local emergency rooms is currently very high. 

Our school community anticipated and has been working to prepare for this kind of winter surge, which some are calling a “tri-demic.” However, we all have an important role to play in keeping our school community safe.

Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools