Over the last few weeks, we have been monitoring both the traditional cold and flu season as well as the new coronavirus (2019 Novel Coronavirus — 2019-nCoV). We ask for your partnership to provide the safest and healthiest environment for our community while on campus.
In addition to the three updates and illness prevention strategies provided below from the CDC, OC Department of Health, and Hoag Hospital, we continue to ask for your partnership in upholding the standards regarding illness outlined in the Parent/Student Handbook:
- Students who are running a fever or vomiting should remain out of school until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.
- A note from a physician releasing the student back to school with an explanation for the absence is required before the student may attend any classes after an absence due to illness or injury of three or more consecutive school days.
Strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC has released the following illness prevention strategies, which should be closely followed.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Strategies from the OC Department of Health
Orange County has one confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus.
- No evidence that person-to-person transmission has occurred in Orange County
- Risk of infection to the public in Orange County is believed to be low
The one case identified in Orange County, a male in his 50s, is a traveler from Wuhan, China. The Health Care Agency (HCA) provided guidance to the traveler upon arrival in order to reduce exposure to the public while awaiting laboratory testing to confirm novel coronavirus. This individual is currently being treated at a local hospital and is in isolation in good condition.
In consultation with the CDC and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the HCA is following up directly with all individuals who have had close contact with the case and are at risk of infection and will be monitoring contacts and assure that proper evaluation and care is provided if they become ill.
Some key points include:
- CDC guidance indicates that people who have casual contact with a case (in the same grocery store or movie theater) are at minimal risk of developing infection.
- If you have not been to Wuhan, China, or been in close contact with someone who has been to Wuhan and is sick, your risk is very low.
- If you have recently been to Wuhan, China and feel sick, please
- Stay home and avoid contact with others, except for seeking medical care.
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
Strategies from Hoag Hospital
Regarding Coronavirus, if a person presents with a fever and respiratory symptoms (such as a cough) AND, within the last 14 days, has a history of traveling to Wuhan, China or has been within 6 feet of someone suspected to have Coronavirus, they are placed in contact isolation. For the purposes of a preschool, elementary and high school, it is recommended that if a student or family member of a student meets these two criteria, they should not go to school. To be even more cautious, we recommend keeping any students home if they have the above symptoms and if a family member has traveled anywhere in China within the last 2 weeks.
Thank you for your partnership in helping Orange Lutheran remain a safe and healthy learning environment. Should information change as we continue to track, we will be sure to provide an update at the appropriate time.