March 2, 2020
Dear Coos Bay School District Families,
With the recent introduction of a new strain of Coronavirus (COVID-19) into the United States that has not previously been identified in humans, it is important that our community takes steps to prevent spreading of the virus. There are many types of human coronavirus including some that cause common upper respiratory tract illnesses that are mild. The coronavirus is spread through human contact with an infected person. The illness can range from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days following exposure to an infected individual. There are no vaccinations available that offer protection against COVID-19, but steps can be taken to reduce the transmission. As of today, March 2, 2020, there are 3 presumptive cases in Oregon, which means the tests for COVID-19 were positive at the Oregon State Public Health Lab and have been sent off to confirm the results through testing conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). No cases of the COVID-19 have been identified in our community. In the event that COVID-19 is introduced into the community, the district will be working diligently with our local health department and the Oregon Health Authority to follow guidelines set forth by these agencies.
Actions to prevent spread of the virus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
- Difficult breathing
What to do if you or a family member is sick:
- Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Beforeseeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.
- Stay at home other than leaving the house to seek medical treatment.
- Clean surfaces with disinfectant and frequently wash hands.
What’s the treatment for COVID-19?: There are no antiviral drugs for COVID-19. Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms of the illness.
Online resources to find out more about COVID-19:
OHA Emerging Respiratory Disease page: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus
CDC COVID-19 page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
CDC Travel Notice: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
Please feel free to contact the school nurse at your child’s school with questions or concerns.
Lindsay Reeves, RN, BSN
Coos Bay School District Nursing Coordinator