The AFNORTH International School would like to share the following information with you prior to returning to school next week (from 2 March 2020) and we write now with an update regarding the Covid 19 virus.
You will be aware that the news is bringing out an increased level of information regarding the spreading of the Covid 19 virus, particularly since it has been identified in Italy and is spreading quickly across Europe. The latest news is that in Germany a person in Selfkant has been tested positive for the Covid 19 virus. The German Health Authorities are handling this case according to their protocols.
We continue to monitor the situation closely, following the advice from the The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) and Virology Network, the German Health Authorities and our Command to ensure the continued health of our whole community, including students, staff and visitors. We are also working closely with our colleagues from JFC HQ Brunssum to maintain the latest advice for our communities in the Netherlands and across country borders, and all decisions will be made with the health of our staff, students and community in mind.
As of 26 February, the Covid 19 virus has not been recorded in the Netherlands; we have been informed that every suspect case has tested negatively, however the situation is changing daily. The Dutch Healthcare Authorities and Virology Network is highly prepared for all scenarios and information shared by The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) until now is:
- The symptoms are identical to a flu – sneezing, coughing, fever. When these occur and are in combination with respiratory problems (problematic breathing) you should contact a doctor. He /she will take further action.
- The incubation time of a person carrying the virus is estimated between 2-14 days from the moment of the contamination to becoming unwell.
- The virus spreads through the air but will not survive long if it does not find a new carrier (body).
Therefore, it is important to cover mouth and nose while sneezing and or coughing. Also washing your hands more often is strongly advised.
What to do if a pupil, student or staff member has travelled from elsewhere in China (outside Wuhan and Hubei Province) or Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Northern Italy, Taiwan, Thailand and other areas of concern in the last 14 days if they are currently well:
- they are advised to self-isolate only if they develop symptoms
- they can continue to attend work or education
- they do not need to avoid contact with other people
- their family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities
- testing people with no symptoms for COVID-19 is currently not recommended.
The above also applies to parents and visitors from the areas mentioned above who have travelled to the Netherlands for half-term. The school is not aware of any parent or pupil from these countries who shows any symptoms.
For your information AIS has taken the following precautions:
- Provision of additional sanitizing handwash and wipes have been ordered.
- Upon return of students and staff to AIS, our nurses will be extra alert on symptoms and will be working with students to promote good hygiene. For your information, you can only be infected once by the virus and the curing process is described as “normal”, meaning in line with any other type of flu virus.
AFNORTH International School would like you to be as vigilant as possible. If a student, parent or visitor has developed any of the relevant symptoms (see symptoms described above), however mild, you must contact a doctor before sending your child(ren) to school and inform the school accordingly. The school can then, in conjunction with the parents, take the necessary steps in the best interests of the child and other students and staff. The main goal of the Authorities is to contain the spreading of the virus as much as possible.
We are mindful that parents will be concerned about the health of their children and we would like to reassure you that we assess any potential risks on a daily basis. The advice we are following is regularly updated as AIS continues to monitor the situation, and we will continue to inform you via the website and the twitter messages. Please keep following these media streams.