Coronavirus: Health Information for Our WDMCS Community
APRIL 17 UPDATE: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
Get COVID-19 Updates
This page will be updated as we receive new information that could impact our WDMCS community.
March 9, 2020 Update
As of Monday, March 9, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) updated their website with the number of individuals being monitored for COVID-19. Fifty-one Iowans are being tested. Of those, eight individuals tested positive for the virus, 32 tested negative, and 11 are pending. Of those, none are confirmed in Polk County at this time.
West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) encourages our students and staff to continue following the recommended steps outlined below to protect against viruses. In addition, WDMCS has plans in place in the event COVID-19 directly impacts our WDMCS community.
March 5, 2020
West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) has been following the global outbreak of COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus. This topic has captured the media’s attention, and much of the reporting may generate fear and uncertainty for you as a parent and community member.
We wish to share information specific to our WDMCS community and provide simple, easy steps you can take to help prevent the spread of ANY contagious virus, including COVID-19.
What We Know Today
Similar to the flu virus, those at greatest risk of complications from COVID-19 are the very old, very young, and those with other chronic or underlying medical conditions. There are no reported cases in Iowa and the vast majority of Americans have a low risk of exposure. As of March 4, 2020, 39 Iowans have completed the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) health monitoring. None have tested positive.
The IDPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Polk County Health Department (PCPH) provide timely resources to school districts. This information is critical to prepare and respond as needed.
What WDMCS Is Doing
WDMCS actively prepares for a variety of scenarios that could impact our students, staff, and families. Tactics such as disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer stations are in place to respond to public health concerns.
We are also postponing or canceling district trips abroad to align with IDPH recommendations about school travel outside the U.S. While we are at low risk in Iowa, we understand the potential for illness when traveling abroad.
This is not the first health situation to potentially impact our WDMCS community. When the United States experienced an outbreak of the H1N1 virus a decade ago, we were prepared. Not only are we following many of the guidelines from that situation, but we added new systems to help disinfect our buildings.
What YOU Can Do to Help
Families and community members can help by following these simple, easy steps that help prevent the spread of ALL contagious viruses, including COVID-19. Practice the same routine hygiene used to help prevent the cold and flu.
Where you get your information about this virus is important. Look for information from reliable and trusted experts. Social media posts often report partial or inaccurate information.