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Health Information--Flu and Novel Coronavirus
Posted 01/31/2020 05:58PM


Updated February 3, 2020

Cold and Flu Information

Novel Coronavirus Update

FAQs about Novel Coronavirus

Leer en español, Đọc tiếng việt

Cold and Flu Information

Cold and Flu season is upon us. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that influenza, or "The Flu," activity levels have increased over the past several weeks. As a reminder, please do not send your child to school if they are feeling sick. Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff.

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. Symptoms of influenza can vary, but generally include a high fever, headache, chills, body aches, sore throat, and cough. The 2019-2020 Flu Season has been complicated by recent reports of a novel coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Common symptoms in an infected person include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent influenza is as follows:

Tips to Prevent The Flu:

  • Get vaccinated every year
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Frequent handwashing with soap
  • Stay at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
  • See more prevention tips here from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Novel Coronavirus Update

Evergreen School District is in close contact with our county office of education and county public health department to monitor developments regarding the flu and an outbreak caused by the coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

On January 31, 2020, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that an adult male resident of the county has tested positive for the novel (new) coronavirus. This is the first and only confirmed case in Santa Clara County. There are currently six other confirmed cases in the United States. More information can be found here. The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department stressed that there is no immediate threat to the public's health and that the risk to residents of Santa Clara County remains low. It is important to note that there have been no cases reported to Evergreen School District at this time.

When new viruses surface, there can be a lot of anxiety and stress. It's important to stay informed. As concerns about the flu and coronavirus arise, learn more about preventing the spread of infections, including when to keep students at home. Below, please read a communication from our county office of education.

Evergreen School District will continue to partner with the California Department of Public Health and the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, which will provide updated information about the diagnosis and management of cases of novel coronavirus, as applicable, in an effort to identify and contain any future cases. Updated information about the novel coronavirus from the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department can be found at sccphd.org/coronavirus.

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Santa Clara County Office of Education Communication

Dear Administrators, Teachers, Staff, and Parents:

The CDC and state and local public health departments are closely monitoring developments regarding an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020 in the State of Washington. Public health departments are working to identify anyone who might be infected to prevent further spread of the outbreak. To date, there are no confirmed cases in California, and Santa Clara County residents are at low risk of becoming infected.

When new viruses surface, there can be lots of anxiety and stress. It's important to stay informed. We acknowledge the impact that this outbreak is having on our community, and on those who have friends or relatives who are affected. We are thinking of you.

What you need to know

  • In the unusual event that a child or staff member is identified who recently traveled from Wuhan, China, and who has any of these respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), he or she should be sent home from school/work, and the school should contact the Public Health Department at 408-885-3980 for additional guidance.

We encourage all students, parents, and staff to take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including common illnesses like colds and flu.

  • Encourage students and staff to stay home when they are sick.
    • Those who have a fever at school should go home and stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
    • Separate sick students and staff from others, ideally in a separate place, until they can be picked up to go home.
  • Promote hand hygiene among students and staff through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and availability of soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Teach and encourage proper cough etiquette—cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm (do not use hands).
  • Perform routine surface cleaning.
  • Consider not attending large gatherings, as this is where cold, flu, and other respiratory viruses often spread.

The Public Health Department has a webpage dedicated to novel coronavirus at sccphd.org/coronavirus; we will keep the webpage updated as we know more. We will monitor the developing situation and inform you of any additional public health recommendations.

All the best,

Sara H. Cody, MD
Health Officer and Director

Dr. Mary Ann Dewan
County Superintendent of Schools

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Novel Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What you need to know

  • In the unusual event that a child or staff member is identified who recently traveled from Wuhan, China, and who has any of these respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), he or she should be sent home from school/work, and the school should contact the Public Health Department at 408-885-3980 for additional guidance.

We encourage all students, parents, and staff to take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including common illnesses like colds and flu.

  • Encourage students and staff to stay home when they are sick.
    • Those who have a fever at school should go home and stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
    • Separate sick students and staff from others, ideally in a separate place, until they can be picked up to go home.
  • Promote hand hygiene among students and staff through education, scheduled time for hand washing, and availability of soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Teach and encourage proper cough etiquette—cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm (do not use hands).
  • Perform routine surface cleaning.
  • Consider not attending large gatherings, as this is where cold, flu, and other respiratory viruses often spread.

The Public Health Department has a webpage dedicated to novel coronavirus at sccphd.org/coronavirus; we will keep the webpage updated as we know more. We will monitor the developing situation and inform you of any additional public health recommendations.

What is happening?
There has been an outbreak of new illness called "novel coronavirus". While the illness started in China, the situation is quickly changing.

What do we know about novel coronavirus?
People with the virus have been confirmed in a number of countries including the United States. Since this virus is very new, health authorities are carefully watching the situation and how this virus spreads. This situation is quickly changing, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) provides updated information as it becomes available.

What is the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department doing?
Public health officials are taking action to protect the public. The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are closely monitoring the outbreak. Public health departments, including at County of Santa Clara, are working to identify anyone who might be infected to prevent further spread of the outbreak. To date, two cases have been identified in Santa Clara County.

Is my family at risk of getting novel coronavirus?
At this time, the general public in Santa Clara County is at low risk for the new coronavirus. However, public health officials are still learning about this virus. It is important that everyone take preventative measures to help decrease the spread of the flu and other viruses that are in our community. Stay away from people who have signs of a respiratory tract infection, such as runny nose, coughing, and sneezing, and try to avoid gatherings with lots of people.

Should children whose parents traveled to China stay home from school?
If a child has not traveled to an area with ongoing circulation, and they are not ill, they can continue their everyday activities. But if a child is ill, they should be kept home.

Can a school send a student home if they recently returned from China and have cold-like symptoms?
Regardless of the virus or travel history, any student with a fever or respiratory symptoms can be sent home by the school.

Should people who just returned from China be quarantined for two weeks?
People returning from China are being screened for illness at 20 airports in the US. If a returning traveler becomes sick and is not in immediate need of medical care, they should go home, wear a mask, and separate themselves from others. They should also call their healthcare provider and tell let them know their travel history and symptoms.

People who have traveled to where the virus is circulating and who are not ill should closely monitor their health for 14 days after they have returned. If they begin to get sick with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, they should call their doctor and tell them their travel history and symptoms. They need to stay home and wear a mask around others.

What should I do now to protect my family?

1. Get your flu shot to protect against flu, which can produce symptoms similar to novel coronavirus.

2. Wash your hands with liquid soap and water, rub for at least 20 seconds.

3. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, sleeve or arm. Do not use your hands.

4. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.

5. Stay home if you are sick with any respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and are feeling tired.

6. Try staying away from large groups of people.

7. CDC recommends against traveling to China.

Should we avoid going to public events?
Please remember that flu and other respiratory viruses are very common right now, and large group gatherings are places where viruses often spread. Remember, if you are not feeling well or are experiencing cold, flu or other symptoms, stay home to avoid spreading germs.

Should I wear a mask?
We know people are anxious and concerned about this new virus. Because it is so new, there is still a lot we do not know, including exactly how it is spreads, how easily it spreads, and whether people with no symptoms can spread the virus.

One thing we do not know is whether masks will protect you from this virus, mainly because there is no evidence of person-to-person spread in our community right now. Our best advice right now is you don't need to wear a mask since there is little risk of getting the illness.

The one exception is if you are sick with respiratory symptoms like fever, cough, or shortness of breath – wear a mask to protect others. Simple surgical masks can help prevent spreading the flu and other viruses to your family, friends, colleagues, and community.

People who have traveled to where virus is circulating should closely monitor their health for 14 days after they have returned. If you begin to get sick with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, stay home and wear a mask around others in your household. Call your healthcare provider and let them know your travel history and your symptoms.

If you have mild symptoms like a cough, runny nose, or sore throat, you do not need to go to a hospital emergency department. Please do not go to an emergency department unless your symptoms are more severe, such as having difficulty breathing.

If you are at home sick, please wear a mask and separate yourself from others to protect them from your illness. If your symptoms get worse, contact your healthcare provider again to determine what treatment may be needed.

With any virus, we know they spread easily in large groups people. If you can, avoid large gatherings, especially if you do not feel well. And if you have a fever, cough, or trouble breathing, please do not attend Super Bowl parties this weekend. Whether it's the flu or another virus, you can help us limit the spread of many illnesses by staying home when you are sick.

What happens if someone has traveled to China and they are now sick?
If someone who has traveled from China and has symptoms of respiratory illness, they should be sent home from school/work and the school should immediately contact Public Health.

What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus?
Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, cough, or shortness of breath. Some people may have pneumonia or more serious illness.

I'm sick. How do I know if it is coronavirus or something else, like the flu?
If you have traveled to China in the 14 days before your symptoms started or have been in close contact with someone ill who has been there, please contact your doctor.

How is novel coronavirus spread? Are my children and family at risk?
It is unclear how easily or frequently this virus may spread from person to person, so it's important to practice good hygiene (e.g. cover your cough and sneeze, wash your hands, and avoid touching your face). We are still learning about this new virus, but at this time the risk is low to Santa Clara County residents.

Should we cancel travel plans to Asian countries?
At this time, the CDC has issued a Level 3 warning, recommending to avoid all nonessential travel to China. Please check the CDC website for current advisories to other countries.

I'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed, who can I talk to?

  • Anonymous crisis line is available 24 hours, 7 days a week including holidays: 1-800-704-0900 (Mental Health Services) and/or SAMHSA's Disaster Distress Helpline 24 hours at 1-800-985-5990
  • Text TALKWITHUS to 66746 (Press 2 for Spanish).

Who can I contact if I have questions?
The County of Santa Clara Health Department has a call center available open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.: (408) 885-3980.



Evergreen School District

  • 3188 Quimby Road
  • |
  • San Jose, CA 95148
  • |
  • Phone: 408-270-6800
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  • Fax: 408-274-3894
  • |
  • info@eesd.org
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