Monte Vista Schools prepare for COVID-19

MONTE VISTA - At the last board of education meeting for Monte Vista schools, Superintendent Scott Wiedeman shared some information on how the school is trying to be proactive concerning the coronavirus. “It has been challenging and it’s kind of scary at times. All I know is when people start losing billions and billions of dollars then it’s probably a serious thing,” said Wiedeman, sharing that earlier that day they held a meeting to discuss some of the ways they as a school district can be prepared. Wiedeman shared that they have been sending emails out with information they receive from the State. Covering things from wash your hands to the symptoms of the virus.
“All high school and middle school activities and athletics including practices and games have been canceled until April 6 so there’s no contact between coaches and players. Then they’ll re-evaluate it again,” said Wiedeman also sharing that unfortunately the Colorado State Science Fair has been canceled.
“Our plan if the school closes would be middle school, high school, and Delta Center would go onto the online platform for grades 6-12. We’ve talked to Patrick and Charles and they are going to get us on to Google meets where we could actually do virtual and teach classes from there. Teachers would  be required to come into do their time 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Communicate with kids and do classes online through Google,” said Wiedeman adding, “Elementary would be a little different. We’ve talked about just making an essentials program where they’d still be able to communicate with the parents and those things. They may have to come in and get a packet, take it home and then bring it back.”
Wiedeman also shared how the school is trying to help students who may not have internet access at home saying, “Also I talked to Patrick about possibly setting up some different internet wireless so those people who don’t have it at home can bring their car over or whatever and sit outside and be in contact with our Wi-Fi.”
The school is also stepping up on their janitorial and cleaning efforts. Trying to make sure that things are extra clean and disinfected. The school is also looking at the effect the virus may have on field trips, and senior trips that are planned and whether or not they will be forced to cancel them. “Realistically if it gets that bad, we got to start thinking about graduation. I know it’s a hard thing to do, but it’s definitely something we need to start thinking about,” said Wiedeman.
Board member Orlando DeHerrera who works with SLV health shared his thoughts saying, “It’s going to get worse before it gets better. We’ll probably be going through most of this stuff through the summer. It depends on how well we do as a society right now. Social isolation because the more spread we have now it’s going to be an exponential growth of infected patients. If we do early intervention sort of stuff now it might not be near as bad. But it’s still going to drag on through the summer. It’s doubling pretty much everyday the number of cases. Pretty soon it’s going to be doubling in hours.”
DeHerrera also added, “The sad part is it’s not the younger generation or even most of us. It probably would be like the flu or a cold. It’s not the problem. The problem is the majority of our Valley is elderly. It’s going to hit them hard. There will be a lot of people that succumb to this. I can look at my patient population and half of my population would die if they got that. It’s a respiratory illness and we live at high altitude; people are on oxygen. We have to be really careful. Going on spring break is fun but if you bring it back with you, and then your family gets it, that’s when the issues come in.” DeHerrera said that everyone should take it seriously and take precautions, like washing hands, avoid touching your face, and to not go places if you are sick.
According to SLV health’s website if you think you have the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) you should call their nurse line at (719) 589-2511 and press 9. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The nurses and providers will most likely make special arrangements if they think you have the coronavirus and want you to come in for testing or a visit. They ask that you do not go to the clinic or hospital without calling ahead as this could dangerously expose more people to the virus.


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