Buffalo Public Schools preparing for the spread of coronavirus


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–While there are no confirmed cases here locally, Buffalo Public School leaders say it’s necessary to start planning for if and when that day happens.

According to Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash, four people in the district – two staff members and two students – are being kept under quarantine for the coronavirus after traveling to high-risk countries.

Cash says the district has been working closely with county and state health officials as the number of confirmed cases continue to rise downstate.

The district is also using this as an opportunity to remind students and staff of the importance of good hygiene.

“If you feel bad, if you’re feeling ill – particularly around some of these symptoms – then stay home. And if you’re at school, go to the nurse’s office and we’ll send you home whether you’re a student or you’re staff member,” Cash said.

The district updated emergency school plans in the fall which include health emergencies such as this.

Now school officials are deciding what to do if a student or staff member were to test positive for the disease. Cash says if one person has coronavirus, he plans to close down that school for a few days – but now he’s working with the Erie County Health Department on what to do if multiple people test positive for coronavirus – including a regional school closure.

Cash says, “what’s somewhat concerning and it’s real if it gets to that point is that this could be up to as many as six weeks of school closure. Right now, on a one or two case, that’s not confirmed, I might close the school for a few days and do a hospital-level cleaning.”

The school district has also postponed trips out of state and canceled any trips scheduled for high-risk areas.

Cash is asking families who will be traveling for spring break to inform the school so they can prepare.

He also says the district has recently started monitoring staff and students who are sick, as well as what their symptoms are, while this disease continues to spread.

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