The Boulder Valley School District has been working closely with our local public health agencies as we monitor the global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
It appears that the virus originated in China, before spreading internationally. It has been detected in 37 locations internationally and there are currently 43 confirmed cases in the United States (14 of those are cases diagnosed in the United States and 39 are travelers that have been evacuated to the United States).
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Colorado.
That being said, on Tuesday top U.S. public health officials encouraged Americans to prepare for the spread of the coronavirus in communities across the country.
What is BVSD Doing?
Since the beginning of the outbreak, BVSD has been collaborating with our public health partners. The school district has a pandemic plan which is being reviewed by these agencies and internally, to ensure the continuity of learning throughout the situation.
Additionally, we have been providing updated information about the illness to our families and staff through our website: www.bvsd.org/current-topics/coronavirus
It is important to know that during an outbreak we would follow the health department’s lead on any quarantines, closures, or other health measures needed. Our focus has been on how to ensure the safety of students and staff, and how education can continue, including through online options.
We have gotten a number of questions regarding students or families that have recently traveled internationally. As you may know, protocols have been put in place to evaluate and, in some cases, quarantine passengers as they return to the United States. Our public health partners are not recommending additional actions by school districts at this time.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. These viruses spread through coughing or sneezing, much like the flu.
What can I do to stay healthy?
Again, the risk to the general public in the U.S. from this virus is considered low, but just as is recommended for other respiratory viruses, people can protect themselves and others by practicing everyday actions:
Practice good hand hygiene.
Wash your hands frequently - remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing
Wash with soap and water, or
If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands
Practice respiratory etiquette.
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you are ill, you should try to distance yourself from others so you do not spread your germs. Distancing includes staying home from work or school when possible.
Additionally, we have cleaning practices in place to help avoid disease transmission.
Feeling Sick? Stay Home!
As always, we encourage anyone who is feeling ill to stay home, especially if they are experiencing the symptoms listed in our Too Sick For School? guidelines.