Frequently Asked Questions
We have developed a series of frequently asked questions about COVID-19, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus. Please review the FAQs below.

What is the coronavirus?
COVID-19, COVID-19, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, is an emerging and rapidly evolving outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and which has now been detected in many locations internationally, including cases in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2,” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

What should I do if my child is sick?
If your child is sick, please keep them home from school. Please call your child’s school and report the illness symptoms your student is experiencing to the attendance secretary. Call your child’s health care provider for advice on managing your child’s illness.

How can my child and family stay well?
To help prevent the spread of illness, follow these important tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces 

Will my student or I be penalized for staying home from school sick?
Absolutely not. We want our students to be at school. However, when they are sick, they should be at home. The same applies to our staff members. We need our staff to be healthy in order to care for our children, so they should stay home when they are sick.

What measures are you taking to prevent the spread of illness?
We have put additional plans in place to increase the disinfection of schools, including surfaces and buses. Affton School District also is taking this opportunity to remind students and staff about good hand hygiene and to cover coughs and sneezes.

Are students given opportunities to wash their hands during the school day including before lunch?
Students are being given opportunities to wash their hands during the school day. In locations where access to soap and water is limited, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also available.

If my student travels outside of the country, will Affton School District restrict his/her reentry into school?
Affton School District will be following the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in these situations. Right now people are being screened on entry to the country, and depending on a myriad of factors, public health officials make a decision about whether people can return to work or school after foreign travel. People who are ill or have traveled to areas where COVID-19 is active may be asked to quarantine at home for a period of time. Since this is an evolving situation, it is impossible to say with certainty who may be impacted by recommended quarantine. Click here for the CDC's current recommendations.

How will Affton School District determine when it might be necessary to close a school(s)?
Affton School District will continue to follow guidance from St. Louis County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Closing schools would most likely be at the recommendation of public health authorities in the region or at the direction of elected local or state leadership. It is also possible that the Superintendent and Board of Education would make the decision to close schools if there were not enough healthy staff members available to work. There may also be a situation where specific schools would close while others remained open. We are tracking student and staff illnesses in our schools on an ongoing basis.

What are Affton School District's cleaning procedures?
Our Facilities Department uses a broad spectrum disinfectant that is known to be virucidal and effective in killing most viruses. The product that the district is using most often is OXIVIR Tb, which is included in the American Chemistry Council's Center for Biocide Chemistries list of cleaners for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogens like the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Custodians are wiping down surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, and drinking fountains on a regular basis. We have recently added more disinfection of school buses as well.

How should I disinfect my student's Chromebook?
Please DO NOT use disinfecting wipes to clean your student’s Chromebook. Using a cloth dampened with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is the only method that will disinfect while not causing potential damage to the device.

Can and/or should students and staff wear masks at school?
Public health authorities do not currently recommend that healthy people routinely wear masks and we do not recommend that students and staff wear masks at school. Masks are in very limited supply and should be reserved for sick people and medical professionals exposed to illness. 

If staff or students have been exposed to someone with known COVID-19, are they prohibited from attending school?
We follow the guidance provided by public health authorities. According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads through prolonged contact with individuals who have a confirmed COVID-19 case. Prolonged contact is defined as being within six feet of an infected person for 15-30 minutes or more. If you or a family member do come in direct contact with an individual who is symptomatic, please call your primary care physician. If you do not have a family doctor, call the St. Louis County Department of Public Health at 314-615-0500.

Where can I find more information about COVID-19?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services 
St. Louis County Department of Health
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