Corona Virus Communication to Parents

Dear Parents

We are aware that the continuing worldwide spread of the Corona virus is causing some concern, particularly since the first South African case was officially announced yesterday in KZN. Opti-Baby is monitoring the situation very closely and will immediately communicate with parents and staff should the situation change locally.

About COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Corona viruses are a large family of viruses, which include viruses that cause the common cold and Severe Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is a new strain to infect humans and for which there is currently no vaccine available.

How does COVID-19 spread?

This virus spreads when a person coughs or sneezes, transmitting droplets of infected saliva or nasal discharge through the air to be inhaled by another person or to land on nearby surfaces. These can be transmitted to another person when contaminated surfaces are touched and then contaminated hands touch the eyes or mouth.

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms are the same as those for a respiratory infection and include a fever of above 38.4 degrees Celsius, a dry cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, aching muscles and a sore throat.

Who is most at risk for COVID-19?

Presently it appears that persons over 50, persons who smoke, people who have any chronic respiratory or other illness are most at risk. To date the infection rate and severity of COVID-19 appears less in children than in older persons.

When should one be tested for COVID-19?

You should telephonically contact your doctor for advice if you show any of the above symptoms in the

following situations:

  1. You have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  2. You have travelled in the past 14 days to an area or country where there is confirmed transmission of the virus.

How can you protect yourself from COVID-19?

  1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use an effective hand sanitizer
  2. Avoid touching your face, mouth or eyes with unwashed hands
  3. Cough into a tissue or into your elbow, away from other people
  4. Throw tissues away into a closed bin and wash hands afterwards.
  5. Stand at least one metre away from other people, especially those with respiratory symptoms
  6. Seek early medical care if you show any respiratory symptoms and meet any of the risk criteria above
  7. Stay at home and obtain medical advice if you have respiratory symptoms with none of the risk criteria.

What are we doing in Opti-Baby schools?

Our normal Opti recommendations for the prevention of respiratory air-borne transmission apply which are in line with international WHO recommendations. These include:

  1. Enforcing meticulous health and hygiene policies
  2. The use of hand sanitizer by all parents, children and staff on entry into any Opti-baby school
  3. Regular handwashing as per our Opti handwashing policy
  4. The hygienic disposal of tissues into closed bins and the use of hand sanitizer or hand washing after this.
  5. Coughing into flexed elbows or tissues and not into hands and the use of hand sanitizer thereafter
  6. Not touching one’s face, eyes or hair.
  7. Separating cots, stretchers and sleeping mattresses by 1 metre between children and positioning children head to toe to prevent breathing into each other’s faces.
  8. Meticulous cleaning procedures for all touched surfaces and floors with a hospital-grade
  9. Disinfecting solution as per our usual cleaning policies.
  10. The exclusion of sick children or staff as per our normal policy with fever and respiratory symptoms.
  11. Educating staff and children regarding hygiene policies
  12. Providing the cleaning products and hand sanitizers required for environmental and personal hygiene practicees
  13. Enforcing child and staff illness exclusion policies and requesting parents to keep children home who show signs of respiratory illness.

Are face masks required?

Face masks are not required for uninfected persons.

Health authorities recommend that face masks are only used by persons who are infected or for health

care personnel.

Where can I get further information?

Please note that any information about this outbreak should be obtained from reputable sources:

1. The South African National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD): National helpline: 080 002 9999.

2. The World Health Organization (


3. The USA Centre for Diseases Control (

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any changes in the

recommendations above.