First Confirmed COVID-19 Case in Ukraine

Updated: March 3, 2020
Subject: First Confirmed COVID-19 Case in Ukraine, 3 March

This is a long email, but please take a moment to read it carefully. I know you are getting a lot of information from the school, but I feel like it is important for you to have as much information as possible regarding your children.

Western Ukraine now has its first confirmed case of COVID-19  in the region of Chernigiv.
As a result, KIS has now moved to Risk Level 2: Moderate

Our two biggest priorities right now are the physical and mental health of our students. It is essential that we continue to provide a sense of normalcy and a great place to come to school each day. We continue to do our best to be prepared and take the appropriate precautionary measures. I would like to say thank you to everyone concerning your thoughtful cooperation, communication, and understanding.

Physical Health: Below you will see a breakdown of the precautionary measures taken by the school during this time.

Mental Health: Each division, with the Director of Instruction and School Counselor, will take the time to discuss this global and local concern with students, including the updates that impact students.

As you are being informed about temperature checks, we ask you to discuss this with your child tonight at home, before they come to school tomorrow, so they have a good idea of what to expect.

The school will continue to collaborate with health professionals, the US Embassy, and other organizations to make the necessary adjustments. We are also in communication with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to see how this will impact Ukraine and Kyiv.

Now that there is a confirmed case in Ukraine, we will increase our prevention measures. See below for what this means at KIS.

1)    Temperatures will now be taken for all bus students before getting on the bus.

Please check your children’s temperatures before sending them to school, just to make sure. Any student with an elevated temperature above 37.2 will be asked to stay home. Also, please be patient and cooperative with our bus monitors. Bus monitors will be scanning students before they get on the bus. Any student with a temperature will receive a note from the bus monitor with the temperature reading (see below).

2)    Temperatures will now be taken for all individuals entering the campus.

We will have an increased presence at both campus entry points to help manage the flow. This may cause some delays, so we appreciate your cooperation and patience with security and staff. Any student with an elevated temperature above 37.2 will be asked to go home.

If someone is found to have a temperature above 37.2 °Celsius we will record the temperature on a notice form to be given to parents.

3)    Important Information to Note:

  • Homework provided to absent students
  • Hygiene and hand-washing emphasized more vigorously
  • Internal events and after-school activities continue as normal
  • Field trips are suspended until further notice
  • Continue with increased cleaning and disinfection of school premises

We also understand that many parents may decide to keep students home during this time. Please notify the school of this decision and communicate with teachers regarding homework and any possible online learning.

Travel and Self Isolation Reminder:

Though the school is using a variety of resources to monitor the spread of COVID-19, we are using Public Health England to identify certain countries and regions of concern. KIS asks that if, at any time, you have visited a region from the updated list (within the last two weeks), please do not come to school for 14 days after your last contact with those countries. If you have visitors who have come from these regions, we also ask you to self-isolate.

The current Category 1 list is as follows:
  • China – Wuhan City and Hubei Province
  • Republic of Korea – Daegu or Cheongdo
  • Iran
  • Italy – any town under containment
  • Italy – Northern Italy (north of Pisa) after the 24th of February

If this affects you, please notify the school of the reason for the absence. Again, we appreciate the proactive communication we have received from parents thus far. Teachers will work with students who require any distant learning assistance, during this time.

Advice, if you need to self-isolate:


Additionally, I have included a section of a brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has practical tips for what we can all do to help our students and kids during this stressful time.

Messages for Parents:
  • Gently correct untrue statements about COVID-19, including rumors about people exposed to or who have had COVID-19.
  • Be a role model for your child. Fight stigma by educating others and being supportive.
  • Help your child cope if they are scared or worried.
Messages for Students (younger 8 years ):
  • Ask an adult if you have questions about COVID-19. It’s okay to ask questions.
  • If you feel scared or sad for a long time, let your parents know so they can take you to someone to talk about how you feel.
  • Be nice – others might be scared because of the virus and they need your support.
  • Tell an adult if you are being teased or you see someone teasing others.
Messages for Students (older > 8 years):
  • Think before you post on social media
  • Be respectful on social media. People exposed to (or potentially exposed to) COVID-2019 may be scared and they need your support.
  • Be a role model for others. Fight bullying by knowing the facts and being supportive.
  • Rely on information from credible sources like your doctor or the CDC website.
  • Remember, ethnic or racial backgrounds have nothing to do with getting infected with the COVID-19. People who are Chinese or of Asian descent are not more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than any other nationality.
Support your friends and peers:
  • Be supportive! Talk with your friends and ask for help from an adult if you are worried about them.
  • Treat everyone with respect – nobody should be mean to others.
  • Educate your friends and family and help prevent the spread of rumors
  • The risk of being infected by COVID-19 in unaffected areas is low.
  • Help your friends and family understand that people who have returned from China more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.
  • Remember, ethnic or racial backgrounds have nothing to do with the risk of being infected by COVID-19.
Speak up:
  • If you or a friend is being bullied or teased about COVID-19 or for any reason, tell a teacher, school official or other adult immediately.
  • If you or a friend is feeling overwhelmed with emotions such as sadness, fear, or worry, tell a trusted adult. If you are worried about yourself, please get help from your doctor or a mental health provider.
  • If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Luke Woodruff