There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Transmission of infection is believed to be through contact with respiratory droplets, such as from a cough or sneeze, from an infected person. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The risk of novel coronavirus infection to our community is low. However, as a reminder, public health experts recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of common respiratory viruses, such as the flu, including:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds -- This is our #1 defense. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick and communicate all health concerns with your physician.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Get your flu shot. The flu vaccine won’t protect against COVID-19, but it is highly recommended to help keep you healthy.
There is no evidence to support wearing a mask prevents airborne illnesses from spreading.
How are student absences being handled?
All absences due to illnesses are excused with parent confirmation, per policies in our WUSD Parent Handbook.
However, please keep in mind that our district is taking many precautions to ensure our schools remain open and continue to be the safest environment for our students. We understand the complexity and heightened awareness surrounding COVID-19 and if some of our families feel that the safest environment for their student is in the home, then we encourage to consider independent study options by speaking with your school principal.
How do school sites handle requests for Independent Study (IS) related to coronavirus fears?
Granting an independent study request at the site level is a site based decision. If you are receiving requests for medical independent study or home hospital instruction, those would require a medical recommendation from a physician, and the District would follow the steps as outlined in the HHI/MIS application process.
At this time the risk for our student population to contract COVID-19 remains very low per the Yolo County Health Department. Vulnerable populations are those with chronic underlying health conditions, recent international travel and known exposure to a person with COVID-19 virus.
Are there any plans to alter or cancel travel, field trips, school dances, etc... due to concerns?
There are no recommendations from public health officials at this time for cancellation of public events or field trips. The Yolo County Health Department advises that “students, staff, and community members should continue their normal activities and take the same precautions they would during cold and flu season.”
Are additional sanitization procedures taking place at sites and in classrooms?
Yes. Department supervisors are already implementing additional sanitation procedures including the increased accessibility and education for cleaning and using sanitization products. WUSD custodial staff are also working diligently on cleaning procedures with specific attention to daily disinfection of high-traffic locations.
Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is our #1 defense!
What is COVID-19?
Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which cause respiratory illnesses. The common coronaviruses that infect humans cause symptoms of the common cold: low grade fever, cough, sneezing and a runny nose. The novel coronavirus 2019 is a new virus that we haven't seen before. Early in this outbreak, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people.
On February 11, 2020, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, charged with naming new viruses, named the novel coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, China, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, shortened to SARS-CoV-2. As the name indicates, the virus is related to the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, however it is not the same virus.
Are alcohol-based hand sanitizers allowed in WUSD schools?
Any time a student is confirmed to have a communicable disease, the District communicates with Yolo County Public Health for directives and guidance preventing the spread of the specific communicable disease. This not only applies to coronavirus but other health conditions as well (H1N1, tuberculosis, meningitis, etc.)
Who will make a decision to close schools?
In the event of an outbreak scenario, decisions to close our schools will be made in close collaboration with WUSD leadership, Yolo County Public Health, and the California Department of Education.
As with any public health-related scenario, our District follows the lead guidance of experts at Yolo County Public Health, the California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The cancellation of school and/or public events at this time is not recommended. The agencies are asking individuals who may have been exposed to the virus to stay home.
My school bathroom is out of soap. What should I do?
Please notify your school site administrator and/or custodian as soon as possible.
What happens if a child is symptomatic with flu/cold symptoms?
If a child is symptomatic (for example: fever greater than 100.4, shortness of breath, cough, congestion), they should stay home and contact their personal physician for further guidance. A child may return to school once fever free for 24 hours without medication. If they are at school, and begin to feel sick, they should check in with the health office.
What if someone in a staff member’s immediate family is diagnosed? Are all quarantined in that household?
If students or staff come in contact with someone confirmed to be an infected person they should stay home, contact their medical provider, and call Yolo County Public Health at (530) 681-0409. If someone must quarantine or isolate, they will be notified by Yolo County Public Health.
Does the District have an emergency response plan specifically for pandemics?
In an actual event, WUSD would utilize the Infectious Disease Protocol and the Pandemic Annex of the School Emergency Response Plan in Hour Zero, of which every school has a copy and is encouraged to review.
Specific pandemic response activities will be highly dependent on emerging data and direction provided by health authorities. As with any emergency plan, this annex is a living document and will be subject to updates.
To control an epidemic, public health professionals work closely with a range of specialists, such as epidemiologists (scientists who study the spread of diseases among animal and human populations), medical specialists, virologists, and immunologists. Control of epidemics almost always consists of four types of preventive measures—quarantine, immunization, mass education about prevention, and early and aggressive treatment of ill people.