Posted on 03/03/2020

The Orion School District recognizes your concerns about the encroaching spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its potential impact on schools. At this time, while there is no antiviral treatment that attacks the coronavirus, individuals are being treated with pain relievers, cough syrup and other medications for the symptoms. So, it is important that we rely on prevention, as we did when advising about the "swine flu" (H1N1) in 2009. As we await guidance from the CDC on specific strategies for schools, the Orion School District encourages you to follow common sense strategies for preventing the spread of communicable diseases:

Individual level

  • Practice social distancing and courtesy when ill.
  • Keep children home who exhibit cold and flu-like symptoms.
  • Discourage your student from sharing food or drinks.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.


  • Review hand-washing techniques with your student.
  • Encourage your student to keep unwashed hands out of their mouths, eyes, etc.
  • Encourage your student to use antibacterial soap rather than hand sanitizers.

School level

  • Currently, public health officials are not recommending the use of masks or gloves in public settings.
  • At this time, federal health authorities are not recommending that schools cancel classes.

And remember, while the Coronavirus news is concerning, it is important to point out that there are other respiratory viruses like influenza currently circulating in schools. Fever, coughing and difficulty breathing are symptoms associated with all of them. Therefore, anyone exhibiting these symptoms should not be assumed to have COVID-19.

A Health Alert was sent out on March 2, 2020, from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Please click on the link listed below to view the Health Alert.

Health Alert from IDPH 3320.pdf