Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) (March 6)

Health officials and schools continue to coordinate efforts and monitor the situation

This communication is to provide information and resources regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and how the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) is responding to this changing situation.

News of the spread of COVID-19 in Northern California is understandably causing concern in our communities and schools. Currently, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) considers the COVID-19 health risk to the general public in California to be low. At this time, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 illnesses in San Joaquin County. 

However, circumstances can change, so it is important for us to stay informed about the virus and learn about the steps that individuals can take to protect themselves and others.

Recommendations to Prevent the Spread of Infectious Diseases

The California Department of Education (CDE) strongly recommends that schools in the state follow CDPH guidelines.  The guidelines include recommendations for students, staff, and parents to follow to help prevent the spread of all infectious diseases – including the flu. 

Some common guidelines from the CDPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

  • Stay home if you are feeling ill.  
  • If you are ill and are experiencing a fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing, please contact your healthcare provider to get directions for next steps.
  • If you come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately.  
  • Please do not come to work if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 until your health care provider says that you are clear to return to work.   You may need to self-isolate yourself for 14 days if you come into contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands after discarding the tissue.  If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your arm or elbow.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not available, use a skin-friendly disinfectant wipe or a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease. Face masks are NOT recommended for people who are well.

How the San Joaquin County Office of Education and School Districts are Preparing

The SJCOE and local school districts are working with San Joaquin County Public Health Services (SJCPHS) and other partner agencies to monitor the developing situation closely.  Schools are further preparing by implementing plans and following practices already in place to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases.  The SJCOE will continue to coordinate with schools, districts, public health officials, and other partner agencies and monitor the situation. 

The SJCOE will provide updates when appropriate and will post updates and trusted resources at www.sjcoe.org/healthsafety

 

Additional Information and Resources

 

Useful Websites

 

Resources from California Department of Public Health

 

Resources from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Posted: 2/28/2020