GFPS Closed March 16-20

Posted by Tracy Jentz on 3/15/2020

Grand Forks Public Schools has announced all schools will be closed beginning March 16-20 per Governor Doug Burgum’s order. This is a precautionary measure against the transmission of the COVID-19.

This closure affects all activities at the school, including before- and after-school activities, practices, and weekend events.

The goal of this closure is to limit the spread of COVID-19, which passes through person-to-person contact. It is important for our students and families to limit outside contact as well. During this school closure, we join our health care colleagues in strongly recommending that students stay home and not be in close contact with others. 

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to influenza, which include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, body or muscle aches, and fatigue/tiredness. If you have any of these symptoms and believe you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, call the office of your health care provider before you go and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.

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.

It is also important to reinforce to your student how to reduce their risk of getting sick. The following steps can be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • 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.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Do not send your student to school if they are feeling sick. See “When to Stay Home from Work or School” for more information.
  • 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).

We will continue to work with Grand Forks Public Health and the North Dakota Department of Public Health to monitor this situation and provide any updates if further action is necessary.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students, employees, and schools healthy.

Grand Forks Public Schools