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 Updated Guidance as Schools Monitor Coronavirus Situation

​Updated as of March 4. For more recent stories, visit the SDCOE newsroom. For technical guidance regarding coronavirus and schools, visit sdcoe.net/coronavirus.

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) continues to closely monitor the 2019 novel coronavirus (now named COVID-19) situation. While an Orange County resident who works in Chula Vista has received a presumptive positive test for COVID-19, at this time there are no known cases of COVID-19 among San Diego County residents.

We understand that many parents and families are concerned about the potential spread of the virus in our schools and have asked at what point we would consider closing schools. Public schools' charge under state law is to stay open as long as schools remains safe for students and staff.

State and federal law empower the local public health officer with broad authority to take all actions needed to control the spread of an infectious disease, including orders to close schools. In our county, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency has this authority and is the lead agency in managing the county’s response to this threat. We have been assured by public health officials that school closures are unwarranted at this time and could create unintended consequences that would hurt their efforts to protect our community. 

We will remain in close contact with public health officials throughout the duration of this threat and comply with all of their guidance.

Our focus continues to be on prevention and preparation. We have an inventory of needed supplies, staff is trained on cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, and nurses are watching for symptoms and providing guidance to families. You can support us by following these standard precautionary measures:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap is not available;
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth and avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home when sick and call your school to report fever and respiratory symptoms;
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional;
  • And continue to receive an annual flu shot

We also want to share that on March 4, local health officials updated their guidelines for when a student should remain home. If your child has respiratory symptoms and fever of >100 F / >37.8 C (lowered from 100.4 F), they should remain home from school and other activities until they have no fever for 24 hours, without fever medication. In addition, if your child has severe productive coughs (i.e., spewing respiratory droplets) that are not typical for them, they should stay home.

SDCOE will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.