February 4, 2020

To:      Santa Rosa Academy Parents & Staff

From:  Santa Rosa Academy Administration & Health Services

As many of you are already aware, there is an outbreak of pneumonia in China, which has been identified to be caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. There are ongoing investigations by many countries to learn more about the outbreak, and the situation is rapidly evolving.

On Friday, January 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared the novel corona virus a public health emergency in the United States. Currently, there are six confirmed cases in California. None in Riverside County. Additionally, there are 195 US citizens under a 14-day quarantine from Wuhan, China at March Air Force Base who patriated to the US on January 29, 2020. Any public health response in our area is under the direction of the CDC and the Riverside County Medical Health Department Operations Center (MH DOC).

This is a rapidly changing situation.

What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause diseases of varying severities, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Coronaviruses usually exist exclusively in animals, but some can transmit from animals to humans, and some of those are also transmitted from person to person. Health officials across the world are actively collecting information about clinical manifestations of this new virus and who is at risk for infection.

What are the signs and symptoms of the 2019-n-CoV?

For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.

Should schools exclude students who recently traveled from China?

The CDC asks that healthy travelers self-quarantine for 14 days and students who self-quarantine should be excused from school during this period. The quarantine is voluntary and is not monitored or enforced, and currently there is no guidance from state or federal officials regarding enforcement by schools, colleges or universities of the self-quarantine guidance.

Should staff or students wear masks?

Currently, the CDC does not recommend that the wearing of masks be mandated for staff or students. As always, it is recommended that persons who are ill stay home to limit transmission of all viruses.

For student health, it is recommended that schools:

  • Follow standard environmental infection control procedures for healthcare settings.
  • When students complain of illness, ask about recent travel to China.
  • Post signs that promote standard hygiene practices, such as:
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Covering the nose and mouth with elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

How is novel coronavirus treated?

There is no vaccine for novel coronavirus. People who traveled to or from China or were in close contact with someone who was infected and develop a fever and respiratory symptoms within 14 days of their travel or exposure should seek immediate medical care.

Your collaboration to inform the public and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus is a valuable component of efforts to effectively protect the Santa Rosa Academy community and keep residents and visitors healthy.

For more information, please visit:

CDC Coronavirus link.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/index.html

World Health Organization Coronavirus link

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

County of Riverside Public Health

https://www.rivcoph.org/