What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness first identified in 2019. There are many coronaviruses, all of which typically cause respiratory disease in humans. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic due to the number of countries affected by its rapid spread.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include muscle aches/pains, fatigue, and decrease in appetite. According to CDC, headache, confusion, rhinorrhea, sore throat, hemoptysis, vomiting, and diarrhea have also been reported, but are less common. Preliminary information suggests older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems are at higher risk.
Any student sent home ill from school will receive a Health Care Provide Clearance to Return to School Form. This form outlines the return to school protocol (based on the currentNew York State Health and Education Protocol) that must be followed before a student can return to the classroom.
There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this virus. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including 2019-nCoV:
- Wear a mask when you cannot social distance (stay six feet apart).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 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.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For questions please contact your local department of health or the NYS DOH Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.