​Information on Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause symptoms of colds.  However, this is a “novel” virus, originating in China in late 2019 (hence the name, 2019 Novel Coronavirus).  Until recently, this particular strain of coronavirus circulated among animals only.  Now it appears to have spread to humans, and can be spread between humans.  The abbreviated term for this virus is: 2019-nCoV

Current Understanding of Virus

  • Symptoms most commonly include: fever with cough or shortness of breath; Some people have fewer or no symptoms at all.  Headache, sore throat, and runny nose also occur with this virus.
  • Spread is most likely from droplets (cough and sneezing)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers this a serious public health threat, but with health risk from this virus to be low at this time. 
  • Symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days, or as long as 14 days, after exposure.
  • Most people with this infection will recover on their own. There is no specific treatment for novel coronavirus infection yet.  
  • For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care. 

General Guidelines for Schools

  1. All children and staff members with fever (>100.4 F / >38C) should remain home (from school and other activities) until they had no fever for 24 hours, without fever medication.   
  2. A student who has been to any part of China within the past two weeks should be excluded from school only if that student has a sign of a respiratory illness (fever and either cough or shortness of breath). 
  3. Students should not be excluded from school or any school activities based on race, country of origin, or recent travel, including to any part of China.
  4. If a student or staff member who has been to China within the past 14 days presents at school with fever and symptoms of either cough or shortness of breath, then a site nurse or health technician will:
    • Until the person leaves school, place a surgical mask on that student or staff member if it is tolerated. If possible, keep that person isolated (students must still be visible and supervised by a staff member); otherwise try to keep a 3 foot or more distance between student and others. 
    • Contact student’s parent/guardian and advise them to visit their doctor immediately. 
    • Suspected cases of 2019-nCoV should be reported by telephone to the San Diego County Epidemiology Unit immediately at 619-692-8499 during business hours or at 858-565-5255 after hours, on weekends, or holidays.
    • It's suggested that any disease notification letters sent from school to the general school community and to schools' parent community be done in consultation with the Public Health Department. If you have questions about this step, please contact SDCOE's Corinne McCarthy at corinne.mccarthy@sdcoe.net.

Preventing Illness

To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, follow these important tips: 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • 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. 
  • Get vaccinated every year 
  • Wearing of face masks by students and staff members. Wearing of masks in public is not recommended for Americans by the CDC nor by our local public health department. It will be discouraged in schools. Handwashing is considered the best protection from infectious diseases. 

California Health Alert Network(CAHAN) / CDPH / CDC Alerts