Southwestern Academy Updates on COVID-19
February 29, 2020
WE’RE HEALTHY HERE, so far, and we’ve prepared for the ‘flu if it comes …
Southwestern’s campuses and our surrounding areas are free of this year’s COVID-19 ‘flu, so far at least. As all around our world we are watching its spread carefully and working closely with our local agencies to be ready for whatever illness may come.
As of the end of February, there are 42 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, all far away from us. California is NOT in a state of emergency. Our country’s Center for Disease Control is giving us current information each day. We’ve talked with directors of our County of Los Angeles Health Department, who have given us advice on how to avoid an outbreak of any respiratory illness and how to prepare to care for our students and staff should an outbreak occur.
We have plans to isolate resident students who may become infected, providing foods and medications and also ways they can continue with their studies until recovered. We’ve planned with two community hospitals, with our city paramedic services, and with our food providers to help us as needed. Emergency supplies are ready. We believe we’re as prepared as possible, just in case.
We welcome international students to stay on campus or in the United States over spring break and in the summer as necessary. If students go to infected countries, they will be screened at U.S. airports and held away from school for 12-14 days. We’ve asked parents of day students to keep their young people home if ill, and we’ll provide lessons so they can keep up studies until they are well. And we’ve planned how to rearrange furniture, to change sports schedules, and to stop close contact with others as may become needed.
If it becomes necessary, we will not take students to theaters or other places of close contact with the public. We plan to cancel our public events if needed to avoid others bringing infections on campus. Our food service staff is instructed to stay home should any develop illness, and simpler menus are ready for use should we become short of healthy servers.
All our residence staff and the school offices are equipped with electronic thermometers to detect rising temperatures. When needed, all students and staff will be checked several times a day to watch for fevers over 100 F. We have hand-sanitizing gels in convenient places around campus. All wash stations have lots of soap, disposable towels, and hot water, with our faculty and proctors ready to remind everyone of the need for thorough and regular hand-washing, then not touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
We ask you and appreciate your joining us in regularly reminding your student of the need for careful hand-washing, not touching, and staying six feet away from other students. If you hear that your student feels ill, please urge them to go to any staff member for a fever-check and help.
We are very sorry for our friends in China, Korea, Japan, Italy, and other places who have hit by this year’s ‘flu and the resulting quarantines. Please know our very best wishes go to all who have been hurt by this pandemic, either with illness or business difficulties. We know this will pass, and we hope that will happen for all of us soon.
Do not hesitate to write me with any questions, concerns, or comments. Should I not know an answer, I will find out from the right person and we will reply to you as quickly as possible. Meanwhile know our students are healthy, studying, playing volleyball and baseball this season, planning projects and activities, and continuing normally with their growth and progress.
Kenneth Veronda, headmaster