COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Dear Parents / Guardians:

Last night’s announcement by Governor Whitmer that all K-12 Schools in Michigan will be closed from March 16 to April 5 is an unprecedented decision in the State of Michigan.  In her remarks, Governor Whitmer stated, “This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families and our overall public health. I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food.”

The mandatory closure will hopefully slow the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan.  All districts in the GOISD have been in close contact with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, local health officials and the Governor’s Office, and will be implementing recommended cleaning and sanitization procedures during the time of the required closure. 

We understand that this will be a hardship for all involved: students, parents, staff and community.  We will continue to work together to find solutions for several issues, such as ongoing learning, meals and support for students, and internet connectivity.  We will communicate those plans as we know them. Of utmost importance at this challenging time is the health and well-being of students. Please reassure your children that they are safe and cared for. 

The Governor has stated that school districts that do not have spring breaks that occur during this mandatory closure, cancel their breaks and make them a part of the mandatory closure.  Districts in the GOISD will be following this recommendation and the break that was scheduled for April 6-10 will be cancelled. At this time, unless we receive additional direction from the state. We expect that classes will resume in all districts on April 6, 2020 and districts will determine if classes will be in session on Good Friday and Easter Monday based on their district policies. 

At this time, all districts have agreed that the buildings will be closed to all activities, including sporting practices, during this mandatory closing. 

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.   
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.   
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.   
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.   
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others. 

The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus

Sincerely,

Alan R. Tulppo

Superintendent

COVID-19 Update

All districts in the GOISD met with a representative from the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department this morning to discuss what steps schools should take to keep students safe. The health department has informed us that our communities are still considered low-risk for the spread of COVID-19, as there are no confirmed cases in the Upper Peninsula at this time. The best thing you can do is follow best practices to help prevent the spread and educate yourself. At this time, it is the recommendation of the health department that schools in our area remain open and implement district protocols for controlling the flu.  All districts are following the recommendations issued by the State of Michigan for schools:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.

Additionally, based on guidance from the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan High School Athletic Association, Office of the Governor, and Michigan Association of School Administrators, we are implementing the following proactive measures: 

  • All field trips are suspended until further notice.
  • All assemblies and performances in our schools involving participation by the general public are suspended until further notice.
  • All community meetings, community education programming, rentals, and gatherings scheduled to take place within our school facilities are suspended until further notice.
  • Any after-school activity consisting of a group of fewer than 100 people and an extension of the normal learning day (clubs, athletic practices, etc.) will continue as planned. 

The Governor has declared a state of emergency, we are taking COVID-19 very seriously and hope that with your help, we can mitigate the spread of this virus in our communities.  Governor Whitmer said, “Community mitigation strategies are designed to be implemented at the individual, organizational, and community levels. They apply to businesses, workplaces, schools, community organizations, health care institutions, and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and health profiles; everyone has an important role to play.”  We will continue to take any/all measures to keep our children, staff, and school community safe.

The situation involving this health challenge is rapidly changing and we will update you as additional guidance is received. Thank you for your attention and support regarding this important topic as safety is our number one priority.

Guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

MDE-MDHHS Coronavirus Memo

CDC.gov/Travel

Michigan.gov/Coronavirus

CDC.gov/Coronavirus