COVID-19 and Spring Break Travel

Posted by Tracy Jentz on 3/13/2020


GFPS Families,

We continue to monitor the evolving situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks community, we are following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Dakota Department of Health regarding travel restrictions to and from affected areas.

As many of you will soon be leaving for conference trade days/spring break, please read the following information closely.

We request that families notify their principal if they or a member of their household have been to a country listed on the CDC’s Level 3 Travel Health Notice list and return to our community. Out of an abundance of caution, we also request those individuals contact Grand Forks Public Health and follow the 14-day self-isolation period (beginning on the day of return to the U.S.) before coming to school/work.

Information for travelers can be found on the CDC’s website, or As of the time of this email, the countries under the CDC’s Level 3 list are China, Iran, South Korea, and many countries in Europe.

Upon your return from travel, please visit the North Dakota Department of Health “COVID-19 Survey for Contacts/Travels from High Risk Countries” and fill out the form available at

It is everyone’s responsibility to use common sense and exercise good judgment about travel. We each play a role in reducing the likelihood of a COVID-19 outbreak in our community.

Please remember that if your student is sick, they should not be at school. Please refer to the guidelines on our website for more information:

Once again, the CDC offers the following proper precautions to keep you and your families healthy:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home, on arrival at school/work, after using the restroom, before food preparation, before eating any food (including snacks), and when arriving back at home.

    • For young children, suggest they hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice from beginning to end twice while washing their hands. This video ( from the CDC is a great resource to show young children.

    • If soap is unavailable, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Rub the sanitizer over all the surfaces of your hands, which also takes approximately 20 seconds.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the garbage, and wash your hands. If a tissue is unavailable, cough/sneeze into your flexed elbow.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

  • Influenza vaccinations are still available, which you can obtain through your student’s health care provider or at Grand Forks Public Health (Tuesday/Thursday/Friday by appointment - please call 701-787-8100).

For questions related to COVID-19, call the North Dakota Department of Health hotline at 1-866-207-2880 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday. Altru has established a COVID-19 Screening Hotline, 1-701-780-6358, that is now open 24/7. Patients are asked to call this number prior to visiting an Altru location if they meet the following guidelines:

  • Experiencing symptoms, which include fever or signs of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath.

  • And have had close-exposure to persons with confirmed COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

  • Or have traveled outside the country in the past 21 days.

Resources on how to prevent COVID-19, as well as how to talk about COVID-19 with students of any age, can be found on this webpage, in addition to information and mental resources for our families and employees.

We work every day to keep our students and employees healthy from all viruses that contribute to illness and appreciate your continued support in doing the same. We will continue to work closely with health officials as we all navigate this changing situation.

Thank you,

Grand Forks Public Schools