Coronavirus Update from Joint Task Force

Coronavirus update 2/3/2020
Posted on 02/03/2020

Dear Administrators, Teachers, Staff, and Parents:

 

The CDC and state and local public health departments are continuing to closely monitor new developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. A woman in the Bay Area who became ill after returning from a trip to China has become the ninth person in the U.S. to test positive for the Coronavirus, bringing the national total to 11. “I understand that people are concerned, but based on what we know today, the risk to the general public remains low,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer, Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD). “With our large population and the amount of travel to China for both personal and business reasons, we will likely see more cases, including close contacts to our cases.” Dr. Cody emphasized that there is no evidence that the virus is spreading anywhere in the county, Bay Area or Northern California. The confirmed cases are being monitored closely coupled with confidentiality as required with any medical condition. Dr. Cody also stated that there was no risk of infection for the general public from the Santa Clara County cases.


Federal Guidelines are summarized by Dr. Sara Cody below and state the following:

1)      Any staff or student who has been in the Hubei province within the last 14 days should not attend school. They should be at home, in a separate room, with a separate bath, until 14 days after the last exposure to Hubei. They should monitor for symptoms and report any symptoms to Public Health. They should not seek medical care without calling ahead first and letting care providers know of their exposure history.

 

2)      Any staff or student who has been in China, in a province other than Hubei province, within the last 14 days should also not attend school. This would be a voluntary quarantine, with symptom watch.

 

Dr. Cody reiterated the importance of common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases:

1.      If you’re sick, stay home.

2.      Wash your hands and don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.

3.      Recommends getting your Flu shot.

 

Below are revised health guidelines for schools in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national public health emergency declaration issued Friday, January 31, 2020.

 

Updated Federal Guidelines
As part of the emergency declaration, which went into effect today (Sunday, February 2) at 11 a.m. PST., Americans returning to the United States, who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days, will face a mandatory quarantine and be monitored by public health officials. Americans returning to the United States from other parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days to ensure they do not pose a health risk. 

Updated Guidelines for Santa Clara County Schools
In response to the new federal guidelines, schools will exclude students who are under mandatory quarantine from school for 14 days from their last exposure and will communicate with Santa Clara County school districts, colleges and universities to ensure high-risk students remain out of school for the identified period.  Students who are under voluntary self-quarantine will be excused from school during this period. 

It should be noted that the risk to the public remains low.

Guidelines for Students Under Mandatory and Self-Quarantine 
Please know that Santa Clara County is committed to maintaining the privacy of our students.  Our schools will work with students and families under mandatory or self-quarantine with sensitivity and confidentiality. 

Mandatory Quarantine 

  • Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) will notify districts of any students under mandatory quarantine, who have been excluded from attending school due to recent travel from China’s Hubei province within 14 days.
  • Once SCCPHD has received notification these individuals are cleared to return to campus, schools will communicate with affected families to make arrangements.
  • Schools will work with students to support continued learning at home.
  • Related absences will be excused.

Self-Quarantine

  • Students who have recently returned from other parts of China are asked to self-quarantine and provide schools with documentation.
  • Schools will work with students to support continued learning at home.
  • Related absences will be excused.

Missing school, for any reason, can cause concern and stress for our families and students.  We will work collaboratively with families throughout this process.  However, to maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students and families, these guidelines have been put into place. 

In addition, we ask parents, caregivers or others, who may be under mandatory or self-quarantine to remain off-campus as well. 

Masks
At this time, public health officials say there is no need to wear facemasks in the United States. However, as a precaution, students should be allowed to wear face masks on school campuses. Please note, students who are sick must follow health guidelines and should not be sent to school sick, even if they wear a mask. 

Additional Information and Resources
For the most up to date information about the Coronavirus, visit:  http://bit.ly/2OnX4x3

The SCCOE in partnership with the SCC Public Health Department will continue to closely monitor this situation, which is evolving as countries and expert health agencies learn more about the Coronavirus.  As we have updates, information, and resources from SCCPHD or other agencies, they will be provided to our communities.

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