Prior Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Updated: May 1, 2020 at 12:55 p.m.

May 1, 2020

To: Families of Santa Cruz County

Re: Plans for the Reopening Schools

Dear Families of Santa Cruz County,

All Santa Cruz County school district Superintendents are currently working together to develop contingency plans to help prepare for a range of circumstances schools may face once public health authorities deem it safe to re-open schools. The safety of students, families, and school staff will continue to be the highest priority of school leaders as we work to determine the safest methods to reintegrate back into classes on school campuses. Families can expect to receive information from their school district of attendance as soon as that information becomes available.

If social distancing practices will still be required when public health authorities permit schools to begin reopening, it is likely that schools will need additional funding to properly implement new systems necessary to keep students safe and on-track with their academic progress. This impending need for additional resources comes at a time when schools are bracing for major reductions in state funding for schools due to the impact of the pandemic on state revenues and expenses. School districts will be challenged to optimize their resources and develop innovative ways to continue providing high-quality education with significantly less funding.
Governor Gavin Newsom stated in his April 28th press conference that while no action has been taken regarding when or how schools will reopen later this year, he “is considering the prospect” of an early start to the academic year as early as late July provided that schools and businesses are able to continue implementing safe social distancing practices. It is important to note that the Governor stated that this was not a directive, but merely a possibility among many others that is under consideration.
While we recognize that our community is eager to return to work and school, Santa Cruz County schools will take action to re-open schools only when enough information becomes available to create a plan that minimizes health and safety risks to students, staff, and families. The current risk of COVID-19 transmission in California varies greatly by each county, which underscores the importance that decisions to lift shelter-in-place orders should be informed by local data and continuously monitored by public health officials so that we do not experience a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in our community.
The decision to change the start dates for the approved 2020-2021 school calendars would need to be proposed by the district superintendent for approval from each school district’s governing board with input from important school stakeholders such as certificated and classified personnel, parents, and students. In some districts, this process will also include negotiations with collective bargaining unit members. Any changes would be proposed carefully and only if it is the best course of action for our school community.
Governor Newsom highlighted barriers that disproportionately prevent the most vulnerable students in our communities from participating in distance learning required to maintain their academic progress. We, too, are concerned about this discrepancy and are making a concerted effort to meet both the academic and social-emotional needs of all students.
Educators across Santa Cruz County are working to provide meals to students, deliver high-quality distance learning, and support the needs of our most vulnerable youth. We are committed to ensuring students have the resources and services they need to continue their academic progress despite the closure of our school facilities. We are working diligently to provide students with the most appropriate and engaging distance learning programs and making preparations for the reopening of school in August.

Sincerely,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District
Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District
Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District
Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District
Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District
Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District
Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District
Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools
Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools
Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Updated: April 24, 2020, 4:16 p.m. 

Date: April 24, 2020

To: Santa Cruz County Students and Families

Re: Family Wellness and Support Services

Dear Families of Santa Cruz County,

As we near the end of the 6th week of school closures, we understand that many families are grappling with exceptionally difficult circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and are in need of a range of additional services. Santa Cruz County schools recognize that it is our role to advocate for and support students and families beyond providing learning opportunities. 

Many families are experiencing serious hardship that impacts their ability to meet the needs of their students. We are fortunate to be part of a community that has quickly mobilized to create services that help meet both the basic needs and emotional health of families. Having a safe way to connect with others while we shelter in place is crucial to help foster a sense of community and belonging that is important to maintain emotional wellness. 

Santa Cruz County School Districts and the County Office of Education have been collaborating with local counseling, parenting, and support services agencies to develop new ways to help families address these needs, such as online/virtual support and networking experiences for both students and parents to help create a safe virtual space where families can share, learn, and lean on each other in these challenging and isolating times. Many families have reported that while they were initially resistant to using virtual communication tools for support, they found it very helpful once they started. Visit our webpage at sccoe.link/wellness and visit the links listed below for helpful social-emotional wellness opportunities and other emergency resources for families specific to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Resources for Emotional Wellness

Basic Needs:  (Rental Assistance, Food resources)

Non-Emergency Health Care 

  • *For a Medical Emergency, Call 911

Food Distribution

  • The Santa Cruz COE web page including an interactive map of school based food services distributions: www.sccoe.link/coronavirus
  • USDA Food Distribution Locator Tool: https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids and USDA National Hunger Hotline, which provides referrals for emergency food options M-F between 7am and 10pm at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479)
  • Second Harvest Food Hotline: (831) 662-0991 

Distribution Locations: thefoodbank.org/food-distribution-nutrition-education-locations-times/

Public Health Resources

Other Resources

Santa Cruz County schools continue to work closely with public health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 crisis and evaluate when and how schools will be able to safely re-open their campuses. Educators, administrators, and school staff are working more closely than ever to help ensure students have the resources and services they need to maintain their academic progress despite school closures and the challenges that come with distance learning. We commend our school and parent community for the flexibility, dedication, and resilience they continue to demonstrate as they help support students with their education and well-being through the COVID-19 crisis.

Sincerely,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District

Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District

Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District

Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District

Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District

Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District

Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools

Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District

Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools 

Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Updated: March 31, 2020, 2:49 p.m.

Date: March 27, 2020

To: Santa Cruz County Students and Families

Re: Extension of School Closures through May 5, 2020

Dear Families of Santa Cruz County,

All Santa Cruz County school Superintendents in mutual agreement with Santa Cruz County’s Public Health Officer feel it is appropriate and necessary to extend the period of school closures through May 5th, 2020 to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The safety, health, and wellbeing of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts. Building on the regional coordination of jurisdictions within Santa Cruz County, school districts and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education continue to work together to align our strategies and practices in regard to this unprecedented crisis.  Schools will continue to provide essential services during this time such as nutrition services and continuity of learning services. 

Schools will observe the routinely scheduled break in services to students during the week of spring break. During this time, schools will not be offering food services nor distance learning. Pajaro Valley Unified School District, spring break will take place from March 31 through April 3. All other districts will observe spring break from April 6 – April 10.

As we transition into spending more time indoors and are grappling with all the challenges that come with it, schools recognize the need to continue providing social and emotional support to families.  Parents and students are being asked to help cultivate an environment conducive to learning at home while they manage unanticipated consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, which often compounds stress for families at home.  To this end, all ten Superintendents and the County Office of Education in collaboration with local counseling, parenting and support services agencies are working to develop ways to help students and parents address these needs. We have created a webpage with detailed resources located at sccoe.link/wellness. Efforts are also underway in districts to offer online/virtual support and networking experiences for students and parents to ensure there are places for families to share, learn and lean on each other in these challenging times.

During this time, Santa Cruz County residents are expected to strictly adhere to the “Shelter in Place” order issued by Governor Newsom and Public Health Officer, Dr. Gail Newel. In addition, all residents are urged to keep practicing the guidance provided by Public Health including:

  • Social distancing
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Staying home if you are feeling sick
  • Contacting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
  • Engaging in regular exercise or physical activity

This is a dynamic situation where information and circumstances can evolve quickly. We are working diligently to ensure our online resources are updated regularly with the most accurate information from public health authorities. Please utilize the following resources: 

 

It’s crucial that our counties receive adequate state and federal funding to provide crucial resources and services to the communities they serve, especially in times of crisis. One way that we can advocate for continuity of fair federal and state funding to our area is to help ensure Santa Cruz County is accurately counted in the 2020 Census. The Census is a simple 9 question survey and responses are confidential and protected by law. Every Californian can now respond to the Census online at https://my2020census.gov, by phone, or by mail. For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit california census.org

We acknowledge the ongoing challenges and hardship that extended school closures pose for students and families. As educators, administrators, and school staff, we are committed to ensuring students have the resources and services they need to continue their academic progress despite school closures. We commend our school community for the flexibility, dedication, and resilience they continue to demonstrate to make continuity of these vital services possible. 

Sincerely,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District

Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District

Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District

Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District

Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District

Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District

Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools

Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District

Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools 

Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Updated March 24, 2020, 5:03 p.m.

To: Santa Cruz County Students and Families

Date: March 20, 2020

Re: Update on Services Through School Closures

Dear Families of Santa Cruz County,

School Districts and the County Office of Education continue to work together to provide our students and families with essential services throughout school closures due to COVID-19. Though our county’s school districts vary in size and resources, we are equally committed to the success and wellness of our students, and are sharing expertise and resources between districts whenever possible.  

Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide Shelter in Place order to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This order does not change directions previously issued to Santa Cruz County residents, but rather only directs other California counties to adhere to the same restrictions. The Governor has not specified an end date to the order, but anticipates school closures to continue into the summer months. It is our responsibility as a school community to be prepared for the possibility of a long closure. In a previous communication, we shared that schools will be closed through April 10, 2020. We will continue to work with public health authorities to determine the appropriate length of school closures across Santa Cruz County as more information becomes available. 

Teachers throughout Santa Cruz County have been working diligently to prepare and plan for distance learning. We intend to provide all students from Transitional Kindergarten to 12th grade with learning materials that ensure their access to high-quality education throughout the closures. We recognize the challenges distance learning poses for families and are committed to supporting parents in helping their children access education from home. 

We are currently in the planning stages of how services specific to Special Education students will be delivered based on individual student needs.  For students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP), our Special Education staff or classroom teachers will be in contact with parents to review what to expect in the upcoming weeks.  This may include, but is not limited to, virtual service delivery and/or consultation with providers via phone, email, or other use of technology in order to supplement packets or materials sent home, as appropriate. 

We are working to help ensure all families have equitable access to internet services at home. Several internet service providers in the community are now offering free or low cost internet service to low income families. Internet access is key to help facilitate our efforts to offer engaging distance learning opportunities for students and help families learn about how they can access essential services in the community. Please visit sccoe.link/internet to learn how your family may qualify for free or low cost internet services.

School Superintendents continue to work closely together and with the Department of Public Health to share information and make informed decisions on behalf of our school community.  We ask that parents adhere to the “Shelter in Place Order”, practice social distancing, and proper personal hygiene practices to minimize the risks of exposure and transmission of illness at home. 

Parents are encouraged to call or email their child’s school or district prior to visiting the site in person if they have questions or need services beyond the food programs available to their student or to pick up distance learning materials. Schools will observe the routinely scheduled break in services to students during the week of spring break. During this time, schools will not be offering food services nor distance learning. Pajaro Valley Unified School District, spring break will take place from March 31 through April 3. All other districts will observe spring break from April 6 – April 10.

We are working diligently to ensure our online resources are updated regularly with the most accurate information from public health authorities. Please utilize the following resources: 

Now more than ever, the continued education of our students despite school closures represents a strong partnership between teachers, classified staff, and other educators and parents and guardians. We commend our school community for the flexibility, commitment, and resilience they have demonstrated to make continuity of these vital services possible. 

Sincerely,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District
Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District
Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District
Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District
Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District
Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District
Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District
Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools
Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools

Updated: March 13, 2020, 4:00 p.m.

Date: March 12, 2020

To: Families of Santa Cruz County

Re: All Santa Cruz County School Closure March 16 – 20, 2020

Dear Families of Santa Cruz County,

The safety and wellness of students, families, and school personnel are the highest priorities of all Santa Cruz County schools and districts. Yesterday, we received notification of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at Rio Del Mar Elementary School. In advance of more COVID-19 cases that are anticipated to follow, School District Superintendents and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education have decided in concurrence with the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency to close all public Santa Cruz County schools for the week of March 16-20. We will reassess at the end of next week whether an extension of school closures beyond March 20th will be necessary. Santa Cruz County Public Health Officer, Dr. Gail Newel, reported that while the number of cases in our county remains small at this time, the Santa Cruz County Public Health Division expects those numbers to grow significantly in the coming days and weeks which may require a continued response. 

Schools will remain in session tomorrow, March 13, 2020. This will provide students an opportunity to receive direction and gather educational materials from their teachers. Our school staff will work together throughout the closure to provide the vital services and resources our schools offer to our community, including, but not limited to, free and reduced meal programs. Schools will be contacting families promptly about services available to them throughout the closure.

Several other districts in California and across the country have made similar choices, including San Francisco Unified School District, Carmel Unified School District, the state of Ohio, and the state of Maryland. 

While we recognize this decision will pose challenges and hardship to many families in our county, the most effective way to slow and disrupt the transmission of this pandemic is by implementing social distancing practices. During the time of the school closure, we are asking that students and families follow the County’s Public Health Officer’s directive to stay home and minimize social contact to the extent possible. Protecting public health requires a community-wide response, and we will need the help of families to help remain united in our response. While children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from COVID-19, they are still able to transmit the virus to populations who are most vulnerable to serious illness, such as older adults and those with compromised immune systems. Please encourage students to avoid large public gatherings such as malls, movie theaters, and other spaces, especially those that are indoors. 

We understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice is challenging and disruptive, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. We are grateful to community members throughout our county for their tremendous efforts during these challenging times.

This is a dynamic situation where information and circumstances can evolve quickly. For the latest updates, visit the Centers for Disease Control 2019 novel coronavirus website at: https://www.cdc.gov/COVID19. The Santa Cruz County Office of Education continues to update its web page at www.sccoe.link/coronavirus. For ideas on how to talk to your children about COVID-19 please visit: sccoe.link/talking_about_COVID19. For local information, residents may visit www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, call 211 or text “coronavirus” to 211211. 

Sincerely,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District

Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District

Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District

Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District

Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District

Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District

Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools

Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District 

Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools 

Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Fecha: 12 de marzo de 2020

Re: Cierre de todas las escuelas del condado del 16 de marzo al 20 de marzo de 2020

Estimadas familias del condado de Santa Cruz:

La seguridad y el bienestar de los estudiantes, las familias y el personal escolar son las principales prioridades de todas las escuelas y distritos del condado de Santa Cruz. Ayer, recibimos notificación del primer caso confirmado de COVID-19 en la Escuela Primaria Rio Del Mar. Antes de más casos de COVID-19 que se espera que sigan, los Superintendentes del Distrito Escolar y la Oficina de Educación del Condado de Santa Cruz han decidido, junto con la Agencia de Servicios de Salud del Condado de Santa Cruz, cerrar todas las escuelas públicas del Condado de Santa Cruz durante la semana de marzo 16-20. Al final de la próxima semana volveremos a evaluar si será necesaria una extensión de los cierres escolares más allá del 20 de marzo. La Dra. Gail Newel, Oficial de Salud Pública del Condado de Santa Cruz, informó que aunque el número de casos en nuestro condado sigue siendo pequeño en este momento, la División de Salud Pública del Condado de Santa Cruz espera que esos números crezcan de manera significante en los próximos días y semanas, lo que puede requerir una respuesta continua.

Las escuelas permanecerán en sesión mañana, 13 de marzo de 2020. Esto brindará a los estudiantes la oportunidad de recibir instrucciones y reunir materiales educativos de sus maestros. El personal de nuestra escuela trabajará en conjunto durante el cierre para proporcionar los servicios y recursos vitales que nuestras escuelas ofrecen a nuestra comunidad, incluidos, entre otros, programas de comidas gratis o de precio reducido. Las escuelas se pondrán en contacto con las familias a la brevedad sobre los servicios disponibles para ellos durante todo el cierre.

Varios otros distritos en California y en todo el país han tomado decisiones similares, incluido el Distrito Escolar Unificado de San Francisco, el Distrito Escolar Unificado Carmel, el estado de Ohio y el estado de Maryland.

Aunque que esta decisión planteará desafíos y dificultades a muchas familias en nuestro condado, la forma más efectiva de frenar e interrumpir la transmisión de esta pandemia es mediante la implementación de prácticas de distanciamiento social. Durante el cierre de la escuela, solicitamos que los estudiantes y las familias sigan las instrucciones del Oficial de Salud Pública del Condado de quedarse en casa y minimizar el contacto social en la medida de lo posible. Proteger la salud pública requiere una respuesta de toda la comunidad, y necesitaremos la ayuda de las familias para ayudar a permanecer unidos en nuestra respuesta. Si bien no se ha demostrado que los niños sean un grupo de alto riesgo de enfermedades graves por COVID-19, aún pueden transmitir el virus a las poblaciones más vulnerables a enfermedades graves, como los adultos mayores y aquellos con sistemas inmunes comprometidos. Aliente a los estudiantes a evitar grandes reuniones públicas como centros comerciales, cines y otros espacios, especialmente aquellos que están en el interior.

Entendemos que implementar estos cambios con un aviso tan limitado es un reto, y agradecemos su paciencia y cooperación. Estamos agradecidos con los miembros de la comunidad en todo nuestro condado por sus enormes esfuerzos durante estos tiempos difíciles.

Esta es una situación dinámica donde la información y las circunstancias pueden evolucionar rápidamente. Para obtener las últimas actualizaciones, visite el sitio web de coronavirus novedoso de los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades 2019 en: https://www.cdc.gov/COVID19. La Oficina de Educación del Condado de Santa Cruz continúa actualizando su página web en www.sccoe.link/coronavirus. Para obtener ideas sobre cómo hablar con sus hijos sobre COVID-19, visite: sccoe.link/talking_about_COVID19. Para obtener información local, los residentes pueden visitar www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, llamar al 211 o enviar un mensaje de texto con la palabra “coronavirus” al 211211.

Sinceramente,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District

Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District

Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District

Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District

Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District

Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District

Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools

Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District 

Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools 

Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Updated: March 9, 2020 12:39 p.m.

Date: March 8, 2020

Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update to Families


Dear Santa Cruz County families:

Yesterday we were notified by Santa Cruz County Public Health of the first confirmed  COVID-19 diagnosis in Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz County Public Health is conducting a thorough investigation to identify any potential exposures that may have occurred. 

While COVID-19 represents a serious public health threat, the risk to Santa Cruz County residents remains low. However, as the outbreak continues to spread, Santa Cruz County Public Health anticipate there will be additional reported local cases and is prepared to investigate potential exposures, and continues collaborating with local, state and federal agencies to implement containment efforts while providing notifications to the public and community agencies as the situation evolves. 

On March 6, Public Health Officer, Dr. Gail Newel met with leaders and health personnel from school districts, the County Office of Education, charter schools, and private schools to provide an update, answer questions, and review response plans. Earlier this week, Dr. Newel declared a local health emergency, and the County activated its Emergency Operation Center (EOC) to bolster response efforts. The school districts continue to work collectively to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and are in frequent contact with the County. 

Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing Protocols
Districts met Friday to review and update our cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols. We reviewed the materials, equipment, training, and proper protective equipment as part of a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases in schools in line with recommendations from the CDC. Our protocols include the daily sanitizing of surfaces and objects that are touched often within classrooms, public spaces, and school buses. Cleaning agents being utilized are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and rated as effective against COVID-19. This countywide team reaffirmed our commitment to support every school district to ensure these protocols are implemented consistently and effectively.

School Closures

At this point no school closures are taking place in Santa Cruz County. Closing schools is a difficult decision as it has impacts on students, families and employers. In accordance with guidance from the California Department of Public Health and our County Health Officer school closure will be a measure to be taken if one student, teacher or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and exposed others at the school. The length of time of the closure will be based on the risk level as determined by the local public health officer, though it is expected that such closure would be for a minimum of 14 days. During this time, the school will undergo deep cleaning and sanitizing. We are making preparations for continuity of education through distance learning solutions for students in the advent of school closure. It is important for parents to prepare for the possibility of a school closure. 

Field Trips and Student Competitions
Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all field trips with destinations outside of Santa Cruz County. Travel restrictions to athletic and music competitions will be handled on a case by case basis to minimize risk to students and staff.


Preventative Measures

We are continuing our efforts to help ensure students and parents/guardians have accurate information about how they can help protect themselves and their families. We are urging students and families who are sick to please stay home and contact their health care provider if necessary. 

The Santa Cruz County Public Health Division continues to advise the following steps to prevent the spread of flu will also guard against the spread of COVID-19: 

  • wash hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds;
  • use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available;
  • get your flu shot to protect against flu or symptoms similar to COVID-19;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • avoid shaking hands;
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning supplies;
  • avoid touching your face with unwashed hands;
  • stay home from school or work when you are sick; and
  • call your primary care provider for instructions BEFORE seeking in-person care for flu-like symptoms

This is an emerging situation where information and circumstances can evolve quickly. For the latest updates, visit the Centers for Disease Control 2019 novel coronavirus website at: https://www.cdc.gov/COVID19. The Santa Cruz County Office of Education continues to update its web page at www.sccoe.link/coronavirus.

For local information, residents may visit www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, call 211 or text “coronavirus” to 211211. Messaging rates may apply. Thank you. 

Sincerely,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District

Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District

Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District

Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District

Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District

Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District

Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools

Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District 

Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools 

Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Fecha: 8 de marzo de 2020

Re: Actualización de Coronavirus (COVID-19) para las familias

Estimadas familias del condado de Santa Cruz:

Ayer, el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Santa Cruz nos notificó el primer diagnóstico confirmado de COVID-19 en el Condado de Santa Cruz. Están llevando a cabo una investigación exhaustiva para identificar cualquier posible exposición que pueda haber ocurrido

Aunque COVID-19 representa una amenaza seria para la salud pública, el riesgo para los residentes del condado de Santa Cruz sigue siendo bajo. Sin embargo, a medida que el brote continúa propagándose, el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Santa Cruz anticipa que habrá casos locales adicionales reportados y está preparado para investigar posibles exposiciones, y continúa colaborando con agencias locales, estatales y federales para implementar esfuerzos de contención mientras proporciona notificaciones al público. y agencias comunitarias a medida que evoluciona la situación.

El 6 de marzo, la Dra. Gail Newel, Oficial de Salud Pública, se reunió con líderes y personal de salud de los distritos escolares, la Oficina de Educación del Condado, las escuelas autónomas y las escuelas privadas para proporcionar una actualización, responder preguntas y revisar los planes de respuesta. A principios de esta semana, la Dra. Newel declaró una emergencia de salud local, y el Condado activó su Centro de Operaciones de Emergencia (EOC) para reforzar los esfuerzos de respuesta. Los distritos escolares continúan trabajando colectivamente para abordar el nuevo brote de coronavirus (COVID-19) y están en contacto frecuente con el Condado.

Protocolos de limpieza y desinfección

Los distritos se reunieron el viernes para revisar y actualizar nuestros protocolos de limpieza y desinfección. Revisamos los materiales, el equipo, la capacitación y el equipo de protección adecuado como parte de un enfoque amplio para prevenir enfermedades infecciosas en las escuelas de acuerdo con las recomendaciones de los CDC. Nuestros protocolos incluyen la desinfección diaria de superficies y objetos que se tocan a menudo dentro de las aulas, espacios públicos y autobuses escolares. Los agentes de limpieza serán aprobados por la Agencia de Protección Ambiental y clasificados como efectivos contra COVID-19. Este equipo del condado reafirmó nuestro compromiso de apoyar a cada distrito escolar para garantizar que estos protocolos se implementan de manera consistente y efectiva.

Cierres de escuelas

En este punto no se están cerrando escuelas en el condado de Santa Cruz. Cerrar las escuelas es una decisión difícil ya que tiene un impacto en los estudiantes, las familias y los empleadores. De acuerdo con los consejos del Departamento de Salud Pública de California y nuestro Oficial de Salud del Condado, se cerrará la escuela si un estudiante, maestro o miembro del personal es diagnosticado con COVID-19 y expone a otros en la escuela. El período de tiempo del cierre se basará en el nivel de riesgo determinado por el oficial de salud pública local, aunque se espera que dicho cierre sea por un mínimo de 14 días. Durante este tiempo, la escuela se someterá a una limpieza profunda y desinfección. Estamos haciendo preparativos para la continuidad de la educación a través de soluciones de aprendizaje a distancia para estudiantes en el advenimiento del cierre de la escuela. Es importante que los padres se preparen para la posibilidad de un cierre de la escuela.

Excursiones y competiciones estudiantiles

Con mucha precaución, hemos tomado la difícil decisión de cancelar todas las excursiones con destinos fuera del condado de Santa Cruz. Las restricciones de viaje a las competencias deportivas y musicales se manejarán caso por caso para minimizar el riesgo para los estudiantes y el personal.

Medidas de Prevención

Continuamos nuestros esfuerzos para ayudar a garantizar que los estudiantes y los padres / tutores tengan información precisa sobre cómo pueden ayudar a protegerse a sí mismos y a sus familias. Instamos a los estudiantes y familias que están enfermos a que se queden en casa y se comuniquen con su proveedor de atención médica si es necesario. La actividad de la influenza es alta en este momento y es importante limitar la propagación de la gripe en nuestras escuelas.

La División de Salud Pública del Condado de Santa Cruz continúa aconsejando que los siguientes pasos para prevenir la propagación de la gripe también protegen contra la propagación de COVID-19:

  • lavarse las manos frecuentemente con agua y jabón, durante al menos 20 segundos;
  • use desinfectante para manos con al menos 60% de alcohol si no hay agua y jabón disponibles;
  • vacunarse contra la gripe para protegerse contra la gripe o síntomas similares a COVID-19;
  • Evitar el contacto cercano con personas que están enfermas;
  • cubra su tos o estornude con un pañuelo desechable, luego tírelo a la basura;
  • evite darse la mano;
  • limpie y desinfecte objetos y superficies que se tocan con frecuencia utilizando productos de limpieza domésticos habituales;
  • evite tocarse la cara con las manos sin lavar;
  • quedarse en casa de la escuela o el trabajo cuando esté enfermo; y
  • llame a su proveedor de atención primaria para obtener instrucciones ANTES de buscar atención en persona para síntomas parecidos a la gripe

Esta es una situación emergente donde la información y las circunstancias pueden evolucionar rápidamente. Para obtener las últimas actualizaciones, visite el sitio web de coronavirus novedoso de los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades 2019 en: https://www.cdc.gov/COVID19. La Oficina de Educación del Condado de Santa Cruz continúa actualizando su página web en www.sccoe.link/coronavirus.

Para obtener información local, los residentes pueden visitar www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, llamar al 211 o enviar un mensaje de texto con la palabra “coronavirus” al 211211. Se pueden aplicar tarifas de mensajería. Gracias.

Sinceramente,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District

Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District

Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District

Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District

Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District

Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District

Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools

Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District 

Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools 

Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Date: March 4, 2020, 1:30 p.m.

The Santa Cruz County Human Services Agency Public Health Division has declared a Health Emergency in Santa Cruz County. This emergency declaration is intended to boost preparation efforts against further coronavirus cases and will allow the county government to request additional aid from the state if local resources run low. There are currently no confirmed cases in Santa Cruz County.

Updated: March 3, 2020

Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice to Families


Dear Santa Cruz County families:

All ten Santa Cruz County school districts, in partnership with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Public Health Division, are working collectively to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While there remain zero confirmed cases within Santa Cruz County at this time and the risk to our community remains low, incidents of the disease are growing globally and within the United States, including the San Francisco South-Bay Area. 

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education has launched a web page that will be updated regularly to offer updates, resources, and links to other agencies. You can access this page at www.sccoe.link/coronavirus. The Santa Cruz County Public Health Division is also working diligently to provide accurate and timely information on their website at https://www.santacruzhealth.org/Coronavirus.

We will be prepared in the event that an outbreak does occur in Santa Cruz County. Because COVID-19 has the potential for long-term disruption to our community and to our schools, we are taking the following actions to limit the spread of the disease so that impacts to our students and families are temporary and brief:

  • We are urging students and families who are sick to please stay home and contact your health care provider if necessary. Influenza activity is high at this time, and limiting the spread of the flu in our schools is important. 
  • We ask that anyone who has had known contact with a COVID-19 patient, has traveled abroad to an area impacted by COVID-19, or who is exhibiting symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty breathing, to contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY so that a confirmed diagnosis may be reported to the Santa Cruz County Public Health Division. 
  • Custodians will utilize disinfecting cleaners and gloves to disinfect classrooms and public places. 
  • We are helping to ensure students have accurate information about how they can help protect themselves and their families, including proper hand hygiene, safe coughing, and sneezing techniques. 
  • We are working with our local Health Services Agency regarding preparedness and response protocols for any future COVID-19 cases. 

The COVID-19 outbreak is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, and preparedness and response information may change quickly. Our response may include temporary school closures to facilitate campus cleanings and to help mitigate the spread of the disease. School closures will be implemented under the direction of the Santa Cruz County Public Health Division, and we urge families to have plans in place for how your family would manage a school closure or how to keep all members of the household free from illness if a caregiver becomes sick.

At this time, we do not plan to cancel future field trips or take other measures to limit social interactions. We will make any necessary adjustments to travel plans as more information about COVID-19 becomes available, and final decisions will be at the discretion of each school district.

The Santa Cruz County Public Health Division also advises that steps to prevent the spread of flu will also guard against the spread of COVID-19. They include:

  • wash hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds;
  • get your flu shot to protect against flu or symptoms similar to COVID-19;
  • use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • avoid shaking hands;
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning supplies;
  • avoid touching your face with unwashed hands;
  • stay home from school or work when you are sick; and
  • call your primary care provider for instructions BEFORE seeking in-person care for flu-like symptoms

Please continue to check this COE page for updates: www.sccoe.link/coronavirus

Thank you. 

Sincerely,

Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District

Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District

Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District

Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District

Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District

Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District

Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District

Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools

Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District 

Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools 

Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Updated: March 2, 2020, 5 p.m.

At this point in time, the immediate health risk for the general public from novel coronavirus (now named COVID-19) is believed to be low, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) representatives at a press conference on February 25, 2020. The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is in contact with Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Public Health Division and continues to monitor the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s information for updates. We are currently working with school districts to review Safety Plans, test lines of communications, and develop protocols for prevention and appropriate responses if any active cases develop in our community. Further information and resources will be posted shortly. In the meantime, please refer to the updates and FAQ’s on the the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Public Health Division’s website.

The COVID-19 outbreak is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, and preparedness and response information may change quickly. The Santa Cruz COE is continuing to work closely with the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Public Health Division to remain informed about as more information becomes available.