Health on Campus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

This page provides official updates from Visitation Academy about the current status of the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the school community. 

Links to helpful resources:

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

World Health Organization 

St. Louis County Department of Public Health 

 

From the Head of School:

March 22, 2020

On Saturday, a mandatory 30 day “Stay at Home” order was announced aimed at preventing further spread of the COVID-19 virus. In light of this new restriction, all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have decided to extend their closures through Wednesday, April 22 for faculty, with students to return on Monday, April 27. Campus will be closed to the student body through Friday, April 24. This decision will be continually re-evaluated as we learn more from local and state health and government officials.

We know that this situation is having an enormous impact on people’s lives in all sorts of ways.  If you and your family are experiencing particular hardships, please let us know. There are resources available through the Archdiocese that may be able to help. If a family is in need of assistance, they can reach out to Catholic Charities or St. Vincent DePaul Society/United Way:

Catholic Charities:  314.367.5500 / info@ccstl.org / www.ccstl.org

SVDP:  call 211

Yours in Christ,

David


From the Head of School:

March 15, 2020

Visitation community,

Given the announcement this evening from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and St. Louis County, Visitation is taking the measures outlined below until the preliminary end date of Friday, April 3. We will update the community periodically throughout this time. Visitation is taking precautions that we believe are in the best interest of our entire community.

Spring Break will be extended through Tuesday, March 24. Beginning Wednesday, March 25 through Friday, April 3, all classes will be conducted remotely. This applies to all students at all grade levels. Principals and faculty from each school will be in communication with further details in regard to remote learning.

Some additional points:

  • The building will be closed to all faculty, staff, and students. There are no exceptions without my prior approval.
  • All Viz-related events including athletics and visual arts (both on and off-campus) are canceled until further notice.
  • All school buildings will undergo a thorough, deep cleaning during the closure to ensure it is a healthy environment for our students, faculty, and staff to return to when regular classes resume.

Prevention is key, so please take the necessary steps to keep your family healthy. Thank you for your understanding.

In Christ,

David


COVID-19 Update

March 9, 2020

Visitation community, 

As you are all aware, a fellow school has been directly affected by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and this occurrence has the potential to impact our school as well. Viz has spoken with Colleen Condren, Change Management Officer; Keith Street, Health Education Staff; and Amanda Brzozowski, Epidemiology Specialist at the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. Based on our conversations today, we would like to provide you with an update. 

If your child or other immediate family member is symptomatic of COVID-19 (fever, cough, and shortness of breath), you need to contact the Department of Public Health at 314-615-0600. Officials will give you information regarding potential testing and the need to self-quarantine. If your child was exposed but is currently non-symptomatic, please continue reading this important information from the CDC regarding COVID-19.   

How is the virus spread? 

The virus is thought to be spread primarily from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. 

Can someone spread the virus without being sick? 

People are thought to be the most contagious when they are the most symptomatic (the sickest). Symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure. It is unlikely, but possible, for the virus to spread before people show signs, but based on the St. Louis County Department of Public Health’s recommendation, students that do not show symptoms may come back to school.   

Can the virus spread from contact with contaminated surfaces and objects? 

It may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Viz is following the CDC’s guidelines of cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.  

Spring Break Travel 

With Spring Break approaching, if you or an immediate family member plan to travel we encourage you to take healthy precautions and keep up-to-date with travel restrictions. You are advised to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) link for travel guidelines and the latest updates on areas with confirmed cases of COVID-19.   

For additional information on prevention, visit the CDC website or contact the organization directly at 800-232-4636. The World Health Organization (WHO) echoes the CDC’s simple preventive actions.   

The bottom line is that if you or members of your immediate family have symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath), please stay home and contact your physician as well as the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. If you do not have these symptoms, your child may come back to school with the assurance that we are doing everything we can to make this a safe environment. Please feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns.  

Blessings, 

David Colón


Staying Healthy 

March 8, 2020 

Dear Visitation community, 

Due to a fellow school being affected by COVID-19, we are resending this communication to emphasize the importance of staying home from school if your child is sick or beginning to show signs of illness. 

We understand that many families have plans to travel over spring break. We encourage everyone to take healthy precautions and keep up-to-date with travel restrictions, especially in consideration of your destinations.  

Given the extensive news coverage of the Coronavirus, I want to assure you that the administration is closely monitoring the situation including any potential ramifications for the rest of our academic year or on our summer programs.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick. (I would like to stress this point. There are many different illnesses this time of year. Your child should not come to school if she/he is sick.)
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, 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 often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For additional information on prevention, visit the CDC website. The World Health Organization (WHO) echoes these simple preventive actions. 

I will be in communication with you as needed, but I am confident that if we all commit to following these guidelines from the CDC and WHO, we will successfully take care of our own health and protect others in the community.