Update February 19, 2020
The following is a novel coronavirus update from Sara Cody, MD, County of Santa Clara Health Officer and Director of Public Health:
Current status of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- Since February 18, 2020, there have been 2,000 additional cases of COVID-19. Cases continue primarily in mainland China and globally it is estimated that there are nearly 75,000 cases with about 2,000 associated deaths.
- To date there are 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and California has a total of 8 cases.
- Santa Clara County remains at 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the Public Health Department is currently monitoring over 300 travelers who have returned from mainland China within the last 14 days.
- As of this week, public health officials have cleared the five health care workers from Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. These individuals never tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
- While the situation in China is unprecedented, public health departments in the US are working to prevent the spread of the disease. Measures being taken include disease surveillance, case identification and contact tracing. To support this work and other activities in response to the outbreak, the Medical Health Joint Operations Center has been and continues to be activated.
- Currently, there is not an increased risk to the residents of Santa Clara County, and the novel coronavirus is not circulating in our community. Since this is a new virus, we cannot predict how long the virus might continue to spread in mainland China or if it may spread in other locations.
What You Can Do
Practice these common infection control practices to help lessen the spread of all viruses:
- Wash your hands regularly
- Stay home if you are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Updated FAQs in English can be found at the Public Health Department website at:
FAQs in additional languages will be posted soon.
To stay informed, visit the Public Health Department website regularly for the latest information at: www.sccphd.org/coronavirus
February 10, 2020
Update on Guidance for Students returning from Travel to Mainland China
The situation regarding the coronavirus continues to evolve rapidly. The CA Department of Public Health has issued new guidance for schools and school districts which is provided below. This guidance does not apply to Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, where the transmission of the novel coronavirus is not widespread.
NEW GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Please note that there have been reports of students and others being stigmatized. We urge schools to ensure students’ and staffs’ privacy to help prevent discrimination.
Students and staff returning from mainland China arriving in the United States since February 3, 2020 should be excluded from school for 14 days, beginning the day after they left China. This is a change from the previous guidance.
CDC guidance on returning travelers is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/php/risk-assessment.html
For students & staff who came back to the U.S. prior to February 3 and do not have respiratory illness, they may wish to consider staying home for 14 days after they left mainland China, but it is not mandatory.
In the unusual event that a student or staff member who returned from mainland China prior to February 3, 2020, and who:
• has symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever and cough, AND
• became ill within 14 days after their departure from China,
Please take the following steps:
• separate the individual from others as much as possible and arrange for the individual to go home, and
• contact the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department during regular business hours (408-885-3980, M-F 8-5) for further guidance.
Precautions to Prevent Spread of All Infectious Diseases
At this time the health risk to the general public in Santa Clara County from novel coronavirus remains low, but schools can take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases. These precautions will be helpful to prevent the spread of other common illnesses such as influenza and gastroenteritis.
Encourage all students, parents, and staff to take everyday preventive actions:
- Stay home when sick.
- Remain at home until fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing.
Use “respiratory etiquette”.
• Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. See CDC’s Cover Your Cough page (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm) for multilingual posters and flyers, posted at the bottom of webpage.
• Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trash cans.
• Wash hands frequently. o Encourage hand washing by students and staff through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and the provision of adequate supplies.
• Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.
• Separate sick students and staff from others until they can go home. When feasible, identify a “sick room” through which others do not regularly pass.
• Encourage flu vaccine for those who haven’t had it this season to reduce illnesses and absences on campus (but won’t prevent coronavirus illnesses).
A note about face masks: face masks are most useful for preventing disease spread when they are worn by people who have symptoms. People are asked to wear a mask at doctors’ offices and hospitals if they are coughing or sneezing.
Develop policies to respond to outbreaks and communicable diseases:
• Establish relationships with the County of Santa Clara Department of Public Health for ongoing communication.
• Update emergency plans to ensure they are in place before an outbreak occurs.
10 de febrero de 2020
Actualización sobre la Orientación para Estudiantes que regresan de viajes a China continental
La situación con respecto al coronavirus continúa evolucionando rápidamente. El Departamento de Salud Pública de California ha emitido una nueva guía para las escuelas y distritos escolares, la cual se proporciona a continuación. Esta guía no aplica a Hong Kong, Macao y Taiwán, donde el contagio del nuevo coronavirus no está muy extendido.
NUEVA GUÍA PARA ESCUELAS Y DISTRITOS ESCOLARES
Tenga en cuenta que han habido reportes de estudiantes y otros que han sido estigmatizados. Instamos a las escuelas a garantizar la privacidad de los estudiantes y el personal a fin de ayudar a prevenir la discriminación.
Los estudiantes y el personal que regresen de China continental y que lleguen a los Estados Unidos del 3 de febrero de 2020 en adelante, deben faltar a la escuela durante 14 días, comenzando a partir de un día después de que hayan salido de China. Éste es un cambio a la guía anterior.
La guía de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (en inglés, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ó CDC ) para los viajeros que regresan, se encuentra disponible aquí: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html
Para los estudiantes y el personal que regresaron a los Estados Unidos antes del 3 de febrero, y que no tienen enfermedades respiratorias: pueden considerar quedarse en casa durante 14 días después de haber dejado la China continental, pero no es obligatorio.
En el caso inusual de que un estudiante o miembro del personal que haya regresado de China continental antes del 3 de febrero de 2020, y que:
• tenga síntomas de una enfermedad respiratoria, como fiebre y tos, Y ADEMÁS
• se haya enfermado dentro de los 14 días después de su salida de China,
Por favor, siga los siguientes pasos:
• separe a esta persona de los demás lo más que se pueda, y haga los arreglos necesarios para que se vaya a casa, y
• comuníquese con el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Santa Clara durante el horario laboral habitual (408-885-3980, lunes a viernes de 8 am a 5 pm) para obtener más orientación.
Precauciones para prevenir la Propagación de todas Las Enfermedades Infecciosas
En este momento, el riesgo de salud para el público en general en el Condado de Santa Clara por el nuevo coronavirus sigue siendo bajo, pero las escuelas pueden tomar precauciones de sentido común para prevenir la propagación de todas las enfermedades infecciosas. Estas precauciones serán útiles para prevenir la propagación de otras enfermedades comunes como la gripe y la gastroenteritis.
Aliente a todos los estudiantes, padres y personal a tomar medidas preventivas diarias:
• Quedarse en casa cuando se esté enfermo.
o Permanecer en casa hasta que la fiebre haya desaparecido durante al menos 24 horas sin el uso de medicamentos para reducir la fiebre.
o Buscar atención médica inmediata si los síntomas se vuelven más serios, por ejemplo, fiebre alta
o dificultad para respirar.
Tener "buenos modales de higiene respiratoria":
• Cubrir la tos con un pañuelo o manga. Consulte: Página de los CDC “Cubra su Tos” (https://espanol.cdc.gov/enes/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm). Y para obtener carteles y folletos en español u otros idiomas, diríjase a la parte más inferior de esa misma página web.
• Proporcionar los suministros adecuados y que estén fácilmente disponibles, incluidos pañuelos desechables y botes de basura ‘a manos libres’ (sin contacto).
• Lavarse las manos frecuentemente.
o Fomentar el lavado de manos por parte de los estudiantes y el personal a través de la educación, programar un tiempo para el lavado de manos y para el abastecimiento de los suministros adecuados.
• De rutina, limpiar las superficies que se tocan con frecuencia.
• A los estudiantes y al personal que estén enfermos, separarlos de los demás hasta que puedan irse a casa. Cuando sea posible, designar un "cuarto para enfermos" por donde otros no pasen regularmente. • Fomentar la vacuna contra la gripe para aquellos que no la hayan recibido esta temporada, a fin de reducir enfermedades y ausencias en la escuela (aunque esto no evitará las enfermedades por coronavirus).
Una nota sobre las mascarillas faciales: las mascarillas faciales son más útiles para prevenir la propagación de enfermedades cuando las usan las personas que tienen síntomas. En los consultorios médicos y hospitales, se pide a las personas que estén tosiendo o estornudando que usen una mascarilla.
Desarrollar políticas para responder a brotes y enfermedades transmisibles:
• Establecer relaciones con el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Santa Clara para una comunicación continua.
• Actualizar los planes de emergencia para asegurarse de que éstos ya estén implementados antes de que ocurra un brote.
Update February 4, 2020
As a clarification to yesterday’s update, the section that instructed students & staff returning from mainland China to remain home for 14 days only applies to students & staff who returned on February 2 or later.
For students & staff who came back to the U.S. before February 2, they may wish to consider staying home for 14 days after they left mainland China, but it is not mandatory, and they should continue monitoring themselves for symptoms until the end of the 14 days.
February 3, 2020
Dear Administrators, Teachers, Staff, Parents, and Guardians:
The CDC and state and local public health departments are continuing to closely monitor new developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. A woman in the Bay Area who became ill after returning from a trip to China has become the ninth person in the U.S. to test positive for the Coronavirus, bringing the national total to 11.
“I understand that people are concerned, but based on what we know today, the risk to general public remains low,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer, Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD). “With our large population and the amount of travel to China for both personal and business reasons, we will likely see more cases, including close contacts to our cases.”
Dr. Cody emphasized that there is no evidence that the virus is spreading anywhere in the county, Bay Area or Northern California. The confirmed cases are being monitored closely coupled with confidentiality as required with any medical condition. Dr. Cody also stated that there was no risk of infection for the general public from the Santa Clara County cases.
Federal Guidelines are summarized by Dr. Sara Cody below and state the following:
1) Any staff or student who has been in the Hubei province within the last 14 days should not attend school. They should be at home, in a separate room, with separate bath, until 14 days after last exposure to Hubei. They should monitor for symptoms and report any symptoms to Public Health. They should not seek medical care without calling ahead first and letting care providers know of their exposure history.
2) Any staff or student who has been in China, in a province other than Hubei province, within the last 14 days should also not attend school. This would be voluntary quarantine, with symptom watch.
Dr. Cody reiterated the importance of common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases:
- If you’re sick, stay home.
- Wash your hands and don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Recommends to get your Flu shot.
Below are revised health guidelines for schools in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national public health emergency declaration issued Friday, January 31, 2020.
Updated Federal Guidelines
As part of the emergency declaration, which went into effect today (Sunday, February 2) at 11 a.m. PST., Americans returning to the United States, who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days, will face a mandatory quarantine and be monitored by public health officials. Americans returning to the United States from other parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days to ensure they do not pose a health risk.
Updated Guidelines for Santa Clara County Schools
In response to the new federal guidelines, schools will exclude students who are under mandatory quarantine from school for 14 days from their last exposure and will communicate with Santa Clara County school districts, colleges and universities to ensure high-risk students remain out of school for the identified period. Students who are under voluntary self-quarantine will be excused from school during this period.
It should be noted that the risk to the public remains low.
Guidelines for Students Under Mandatory and Self-Quarantine
Please know that Santa Clara County is committed to maintaining the privacy of our students. Our schools will work with students and families under mandatory or self-quarantine with sensitivity and confidentiality.
- Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) will notify districts of any students under mandatory quarantine, who have been excluded from attending school due to recent travel from China’s Hubei province within 14 days.
- Once SCCPHD has received notification these individuals are cleared to return to campus, schools will communicate with affected families to make arrangements.
- Schools will work with students to support continued learning at home.
- Related absences will be excused.
- Students who have recently returned from other parts of China are asked to self-quarantine and provide schools with documentation.
- Schools will work with students to support continued learning at home.
- Related absences will be excused.
Missing school, for any reason, can cause concern and stress for our families and students. We will work collaboratively with families throughout this process. However, to maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students and families, these guidelines have been put into place.
In addition, we ask parents, caregivers or others, who may be under mandatory or self-quarantine to remain off campus as well.
At this time, public health officials say there is no need to wear facemasks in the United States. However, as a precaution, students should be allowed to wear face masks on school campuses. Please note, students who are sick must follow health guidelines and should not be sent to school sick, even if they wear a mask.
Additional Information and Resources
The SCCOE in partnership with the SCC Public Health Department will continue to closely monitor this situation, which is evolving as countries and expert health agencies learn more about the Coronavirus. As we have updates, information and resources from SCCPHD or other agencies, they will be provided to our communities.