Vermilion Local Schools is carefully monitoring news and updates from the Erie and Lorain County Health Departments, the Ohio Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. The Ohio Department of Education issued a list of frequently asked questions for Ohio schools and districts, which can be found HERE
UPDATE MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2020
Superintendent Pempin met with district stakeholders to discuss and prepare for local response, including appropriate cleaning of facilities, the availability of additional hand sanitizing stations, and preparations for a possible pandemic. An emphasis on hand washing for both staff and students remains the single best way to reduce the possibility of spread of the disease.
The following information was communicated by the Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday, March 3, 2020:
Reported community spread of COVID-19 in parts of the United States raises the level of concern about the immediate threat for COVID-19 for those communities. The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is very high, to the United States and globally.
Situation in U.S.
Imported cases of COVID-19 in travelers have been detected in the U.S. Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 was first reported among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan. During the week of February 23, CDC reported community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in California (in two places), Oregon and Washington. Community spread in Washington resulted in the first death in the United States from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case of COVID-19 in a health care worker, and the first potential outbreak in a long-term care facility.
At this time, however, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. This virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States. However, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment will be updated as needed.
Current risk assessment:
- For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
- People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.
- Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.
CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.
- As of February 24, 2020, the (CDC) reported 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and regularly updates numbers on its website. Of the cases, 14 were detected and tested in the U.S. through U.S. public health surveillance systems; this includes 12 people with travel history to China, and two involving person-to-person spread. The remaining 39 are people repatriated to the U.S. by the Department of State; this includes three people who had been in Wuhan and 36 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The disease is not spreading in the community in the U.S. at this time, and the CDC currently considers risk to the general public to be low.
The novel coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and have droplets land on them. Symptoms of coronavirus appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing. There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection.
To prevent the spread of any virus including novel coronavirus, practice these preventative measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- 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.
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