HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — As coronavirus continues to spread across the country and into Michigan with two confirmed cases in Wayne Oakland counties, schools in West Michigan have begun making contingency plans.
“It’s not a matter of if, but when we are impacted by this,” Holland Public Schools spokesman Jason Craner said. “To everyone that is concerned, as education experts we are working at the discretion of the medical experts at the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. We have plans in place.”
As Ottawa County awaits COVID-19 test results for seven patients, Holland Public Schools and other schools are working closely with medical experts to spread facts and ease fear, explaining how will they react if there is a local outbreak.
Holland Public Schools has implemented a schoolwide “contact-free zone” to help combat the spread of any contagious diseases.
“We don’t want to take any chances spreading this further,” Craner said. “We are planning ahead, making sure that every eventuality is covered.”
Those plans include providing delivery services, already approved by the state, to students who receive federal meal assistance. Students and staff members who are medically sensitive will be removed from classrooms before there’s a chance of spreading the virus.
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“We’ve seen as the virus has spread across the world and into the state now,” Craner said. “It really is a matter of time before Ottawa County has to deal with people who are sick from this virus. Our students and staff are not immune to this eventuality.”
Closures, cancellations and quarantines are also not out of the question.
“We’re not going to get caught off guard by someone who comes in and is sick. We have a plan for that,” Craner said. “The plan is working closely with the Ottawa County health department to be sure we’re not spreading it any further once it does hit.”
Every plan hinges on the test results released by the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, which is meeting with the intermediate school district Tuesday to discuss the results and what they will do moving forward.