Coronavirus Information

 
Coronavirus banner image
 
This page contains the latest information and resources received by the District regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  Information below appears with the newest information first.  External links and documents are also available in expandable sections on this page.  Please continue to monitor this page for further developments.  You can reach this page using the link desotoschools.com/coronavirus/
 

 
March 30, 2020
 
Based on recommendations from the Florida Department of Education and the State of Florida, the School District of DeSoto County will extend its school closures until May 1. The Florida Department of Education will re-evaluate additional school closures before May 1, and any changes will continue to be communicated to families.

Adrian H. Cline
Superintendent
 
(Please click here to view original PDF.)

 
March 30, 2020
 
School District of DeSoto District and School Offices Closing to Walk-in Services beginning Tuesday, March 31, 2020
 
(Please click here to view original PDF.)

 
March 30, 2020
 
Grab and Go Meals
 
(Please click here to view original PDF, a schedule of locations and times for "Grab and Go" meals.)

 
March 17, 2020
 
(Please click here to view original PDF, a press release entitled Florida Department of Education Announces Additional Guidance for the 2019-20 School Year.)

 
March 16, 2020
 
(Please click here to view original PDF)
 
5:15 pm

District Parents:

The School District of DeSoto Food Service Department will begin the Grab and Go distribution of lunch, and snack bags from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm starting March 18, 2020, through March 27, 2020, at the following sites:
  • DeSoto Middle School Parent Pick-Up
  • Nocatee Elementary School Parent Pick-Up
Elementary and middle school parents must be with the student(s) receiving the lunch, and high school students must show their student ID or number. We can provide the meal and snack to students up to the age of 18.

Adrian H. Cline
Superintendent

 
March 16, 2020
 
(Please click here to view original PDF)
 
11:35 am

Parents and District Employees:
 
As per a directive from the Florida Department of Education, all extracurricular activities are canceled during spring break (March 16 – 27, 2020).
 
Adrian H. Cline
Superintendent

 
March 13, 2020
 
(Please click here to view original PDF)
 
Date: March 13, 2020
Subject: Coronarvius Update
 
Dear Parents and District Employees:
 
I just finished a telephone call with the Florida Department of Education regarding
the latest Coronavirus Update. There are several items in the update which the
district will receive from the Department of Education later today or tomorrow.
 
This communication provides you with the requirement that all Florida Public
Schools will be closed for a two week Spring Break. This state directive means that
the Spring Break for students in DeSoto is now scheduled for March 16 – March 27,
2020. DeSoto Schools are presently scheduled to reopen on March 30, 2020.
 
The Department of Education will notify the district soon regarding the work
schedule for district employees for the week of March 23 – 27, 2020. Those details
will be sent to employees as soon as received from the Department of Education.
 
There are other points in the update that will be posted on the district’s Facebook
page and website www.desotoschools.com as soon as they are received.
 
I felt the information regarding Spring Break needed to be distributed as soon as
possible.

Adrian H. Cline
Superintendent

 
March 13, 2020
 
(Please click here to view original PDF, a press release update from the Florida Department of Education.)
 
March 13, 2020
8:19 am

Superintendents:

In addition to the memorandum and Q&A we forwarded your way on March 11, the Department of Education has been working with the Department of Health, and we have received the following additional recommendations that many of you asked about:
  • Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on foreign travel, to any country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
  • Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
  • There should be no mass gatherings, which are defined by the CDC as “1,000-25,000 people, but the practical application is any gathering that would strain local resources.”
    We leave it to your discretion for events with less than 1,000 people.
  • If a student/faculty/staff has been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19, and that student/faculty/staff has been in a classroom, we still recommend that you NOT close the school/college/program. Again, we do recommend that you clear the classroom and take the necessary steps to sanitize the room.
And as always, you can learn more about COVID-19 preparations, signs and symptoms, and guidance at http://www.fldoe.org/em-response/index.stml.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jacob Oliva
Chancellor of Education


 
March 10, 2020
 
(Please click here to view original PDF, DeSoto School District Coronavirus Guidelines.)
 

Florida Health Department Coronavirus Hotline
1-866-779-6121 (24 hours/7 days)

 
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Update Tuesday, 3/10/2020

 
If you have symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call the DeSoto Health Department at 863.993.4601 (8:00am – 5:00pm M-F, closed 12:00pm – 1:00pm for lunch) before you go to the doctor.
 
To our Parents, Employees, and Community:
 
Please review these DeSoto School District Coronavirus Guidelines for important information and travel updates related to Spring Break.
 

Community Engagement and Communication

 
The School District of DeSoto County is working closely with the DeSoto Health Department regarding all decisions related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The District is often communicating with parents and employees via its website, social media channels, by phone calls, and email.
 

If You or Your Child Feels Sick Please Stay Home

 
State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees has advised anyone who has symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should stay at home and contact the DeSoto Health Department at 863.993.4601 from 8 am to 5 pm (closed for lunch 12 pm – 1:00 pm) Monday through Friday.

Practice Good Health and Hygiene


Please take care of yourself, eat well, get plenty of sleep, and exercise. Also, always follow best practices preventing the spread of flu-like viruses such as: covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze; washing your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaner; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth when possible and staying away from people who are sick.

CDC Travel Warnings to and from High-Risk Countries


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises all individuals who have traveled or will be traveling to high-risk countries – China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea – to complete a mandatory 14-day self-isolation and to practice social distancing upon return to the United States. Social distancing includes avoiding going out in public and close personal interactions. If you have or will be traveling to Japan or traveling on a cruise ship, the CDC asks you to monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact the DeSoto Health Department at 863.993.4601. (Employees in the above situations will be subject to school district guidelines regarding employee absences.)

Enrollment of New Students from High-Risk Areas


Any new families arriving in DeSoto County from high-risk countries who are experiencing high concentrations of outbreaks are requested to telephone the Office of Student Assignment for instructions before enrollment. District officials will work with community health officials to determine the appropriate registration and attendance plan for those students. Families arriving from high-risk countries are asked not to visit schools or school District offices, but to interact with the District by telephone. Please call the Office of Student Services at 863.993.1333 if you are enrolling a new student from a high-risk country or area of the United States.

Spring Break Travel March 16-19 for Students / Employees / Families


Please follow the CDC’s recommendations not to travel to the high-risk countries, and if you are planning to do so, please contact your school or supervisor immediately.

Please take all necessary precautions if you plan to travel to those areas of the United States that are experiencing high concentrations of outbreaks.

Please take all the necessary precautions if you plan to visit a major theme park during spring break.


As a reminder, if you feel sick when you come back from Spring Break, please stay home and call the DeSoto Health Department at 863.993.4601.


Any school-sponsored or district-sponsored travel to high-risk areas will be canceled.

Currently planned school-sponsored or district-sponsored out-of-state travel which is nonrefundable for students and employees may be allowed if a trip is to an area which is not on the CDC’s list of concern. District administration will review each trip on a case-by-case basis. If an employee or student is not comfortable traveling, those individuals will be excused from the event.

Currently planned school-sponsored or district-sponsored out-of-state-travel, which is refundable will be reviewed by District administration to determine if the travel is permissible.

Until further notice, new out-of-country and out-of-state travel requiring air travel will not be approved - except for emergencies or highly-mission critical employee travel.

The District is proceeding with caution regarding in-state travel. All in-state travel must be approved by District administration. Trips requiring air travel, events held in closed spaces, or events with 1,000 or more participants will be carefully considered on an individual basis.


Field Trips


In-County: There are no restrictions currently for in-county field trips. The District will continue to work with the DeSoto Health Department and monitor any potential issues in our local community.


Athletic Events


We are currently working with the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) regarding regional and state athletic events and will provide guidance to schools once that information is received.


Spring Break Deep Cleaning


The District is implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures in schools now and during Spring Break, to include providing additional access to alcohol-based hand sanitizers; stocking restrooms with soap and paper towels; disinfecting all restrooms and breakrooms daily; disinfecting daily all common touch areas such as copiers, door handles, light switches, faucets, and water fountains. Also, playgrounds and outdoor touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected.

We will continue to keep you updated. Thank you.

(Please click here to view original PDF, a press release update from the Florida Department of Health.)

(Please click here to view original PDF.)
 
Coronavirus Special Alert
 
Yesterday, Florida’s Surgeon General briefed school district lobbyists, FSBA, FADSS, and many District Superintendents. The Florida Commissioner of Education briefed participants on the current status of the Coronavirus in the state. FASA, FSBA staff and several school district lobbyists were invited to listen in on the afternoon conference call.

Here is a summary of their report:
  • Individuals from Hillsborough County, Manatee County, and Santa Rosa County, have tested positive. The virus has a significant impact on older citizens with underlying breathing and/or heart conditions.
  • Most cases are mild with about 15% requiring hospitalization; 3% were serious with approximately 1% being fatal.
  • Children 15 years and younger are unlikely to get the virus.
  • Symptoms are flu-like with fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
  • There are no vaccines or therapies except isolation, temperature control and hydration.

Principals and District Staff should:
  • Tell staff and students to stay home and self-isolate if they have flu-like symptoms.
  • Cover mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean schools with Clorox wipes or similar disinfectants as often as possible.
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with anti-bacterial soap or hand sanitizer regularly.

Follow your school district emergency plans.  If you want additional information contact your local health department or go online to: floridahealth.gov
 
Related CDC resources:
What you need to know about COVID-19:  English  Español  
What to do if you are sick:  English  Español
Help prevent the spread of COVID-19:  English  Español
Symptoms of COVID-19:  English  Español
 

(Please click here to view original PDF.)
 
Parents and Employees:
 
The School District of DeSoto County is working closely with the Florida Department of Health in DeSoto County to keep a close eye on developments related to the Coronavirus. Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and employees so we will work diligently with those agencies to keep you informed.
 
The best place to stay informed about our school district’s efforts regarding the Coronavirus is the district Facebook page or the website at desotoschools.com (click Coronavirus Information).
 
You will find helpful links to the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health, as well as, other insightful information.
 
During this time of increased awareness about infectious diseases, our school cleaning staffs will place an additional emphasis on keeping our schools and support facilities clean and disinfected, and our school nurses and health professionals will highlight the need for students and staff to maintain proper hygiene such as covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth when possible and staying home if you are sick.
 
Again, please visit the district Facebook page or website at desotoschools.com (click Coronavirus Information) to get updates and information on the Coronavirus.
 
Thank You.
 
Adrian H. Cline
Superintendent
 

Please click here for information about Coronavirus.