Spring Break Travel During Coronavirus Outbreak

​Dear Central Academy students and families,

DMPS is actively responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Last week our Superintendent sent out information about our response in an email to all families and staff (a copy of that message is below).  As the situation evolves, you can find all the latest updated information on the district webpage: http://www.dmschools.org/coronavirus/

The Polk County Health Department has released some guidance for spring break travel for schools in our area.  Find it here: https://www.polkcountyiowa.gov/media/616252/spring-break-communication.pdf

If your family is traveling to China or Iran, you will face a 14-day quarantine.  People traveling to Italy, Japan, and South Korea are asked to self-isolate for 14-days when they return.  Please let our school nurse, Beth Angier, know if you or your child are quarantined or are self-isolating.  elizabeth.angier@dmschools.org.

There are no travel restrictions within the United States based on the CDC’s guidance (Center for Disease Control).  Using good hygiene practices is the only recommendation at this time.  Since this is a rapidly evolving situation please visit the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date travel information. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

If you have any questions about travel, please contact the Polk County Health Department at 515-286-3890.


Here is the Superintendent’s message sent out on March 9, 2020:

Dear DMPS Families:

As Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to be a concern we all share, and the start of Spring Break is only a few days away, there have been questions raised about travel and what impact it may have on the spread of the virus. I know many of us are looking forward to a chance to relax and, in some cases, have planned trips out of state or even out of the country.

At the time of this letter, there are five countries around the world which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have identified as being a high risk for the spread of Coronavirus: China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea. The Iowa Department of Public Health recommends that anyone who visits those countries voluntarily self-isolates for 14 days upon their return.

DMPS encourages any family who visits somewhere the CDC has identified as a high risk for Coronavirus to follow public health recommendations. If families travel to these areas, or plan to, they should notify their school to make arrangements for the student’s reentry to school.

There are no other travel advisories or restrictions pertaining to Coronavirus, either internationally or within the United States. However, at this time, Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in nearly 100 countries and 35 states, including Iowa. Before traveling, be sure to stay informed. For the latest information, DMPS has links to the CDC and other public health agencies at dmschools.org/coronavirus.

DMPS is in regular contact with state and local public health agencies, and will share new information, as it is available.

In the meantime, whether you are traveling or not, there are some very basic things we should all be doing to help prevent the spread of viruses:

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Cover your mouth with your upper arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

While there are many legitimate concerns about Coronavirus, being well informed and taking some preventive steps can keep us healthy and safe, and enjoy our time during Spring Break.

Dr. Tom Ahart

Diane Gladson
Health Services Supervisor

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