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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 3.5.20

As you know, we continue to closely monitor the latest information and guidance on the new coronavirus (COVID-19),  in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE), the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


We want to inform you of the latest guidance and information from the Public Health Department and to provide an update on the steps we are taking to prevent the spread of viruses on our campuses.  

New Guidance and Information from Public Health Department

As of March 5, 2020, there are 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Santa Clara County.  The County Public Health Department is now recommending proactive steps to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community.  This includes new guidance on hosting mass gatherings and large events. Out an abundance of caution, we may be canceling or postponing some events or field trips at our school sites. This will be evaluated by a case-by-case basis and then communicated to the parties impacted.

At this time, all CUHSD schools continue to be open and ready to serve students. The County Public Health Department is not recommending closing schools at this time. If a staff member or student in a specific school confirmed to have COVID-19, the Public Health Department will consider, based on the specific facts and circumstances of that case, whether closure of that school is warranted.
 
One reason the Public Health Department is not recommending school closures at this time is that children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. 
 
In accordance with the Public Health Department and CDC recommendations, we are reviewing, updating and preparing plans in the unlikely event schools need to be closed for an extended period of time.  
 
New Guidance For Persons at Higher Risk from COVID-19 

The County Public Health Department is recommending that persons at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from crowded social gatherings of people as much as possible such as parades, conferences, sporting events, and concerts where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.
 
Those at higher risk include:
  • People over 50 years of age. The risk increases significantly thereafter and escalates with age, with persons over age 80 in the highest risk category.
  • People, regardless of age, with underlying health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems.
 
Travel Advisories
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides current travel notices for international travel to affected countries. Visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
 
If you are returning from international travel, the recommendations are:
  • If you have symptoms, stay home, contact your healthcare provider, and provide your travel history.
  • If you have traveled to countries experiencing coronavirus outbreak and have no symptoms, you may choose to stay home out of an abundance of caution, but it is not currently mandatory. If you develop symptoms, please stay home and call your healthcare provider and tell them your symptoms and recent travel history.

Preventative Steps
 
Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and staff, and we take this responsibility very seriously. We will be taking the following steps in the coming weeks to proactively limit the spread of germs on our campuses:
  • Enhanced disinfection procedures in high-traffic areas and touch points, such as doors, restrooms and other common areas.
  • Encouraging increased hand washing to our students and staff while at school
  • Providing portable hand-washing stations in high-traffic areas on campuses
  • Ensuring all soap dispensers are continuously refilled and providing sanitation stations as needed
  • Adding disinfectant, tissues and hand sanitizer dispensers to classrooms, when available.  

What You Can Do 
 
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and all other communicable diseases such as flu, colds, etc., the CDC recommends that you follow respiratory hygiene etiquette measures, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

This is a new situation for all of us, and I know there is much concern and anxiety in the community. We share those concerns and continue to make the safety of students and staff our highest priority.
 
We will continue to update you as this situation evolves You can also find additional information on COVID-19 on the websites of the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 
Thank you for your support. 
 
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