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Coronavirus: Everything You Need to Know

Since January 2020, The Episcopal School of Dallas has been working closely with the Dallas County Health and Human Services to monitor the latest information concerning the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the World Health Organization, are closely monitoring the outbreak in Wuhan, China, and are giving updated guidance to federal, state, and local officials.

Based on current information, our local and state health officials deem the risk of local transmission in our community and the general public to be very low at this time. As of January 27, 2020, there are five confirmed cases identified in the U.S. (all travelers from Wuhan, China) and no confirmed cases in Texas. Health officials assure us that the immediate risk to our population is low at this time.

The 2019 novel coronavirus is believed to be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to the way the flu and other respiratory viruses are spread.  Symptoms are believed to appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. At this time, persons considered at greatest risk for contracting the virus are those traveling specifically to Wuhan, China, or individuals in close contact with persons infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus. 

In situations like this, it is best to rely on factual information from reliable sources. Here are links to information about the novel coronavirus from local, state, national, and international health organizations:

Public health officials are cautioning that the flu and other common respiratory illnesses are circulating and recommending that everyone follow basic prevention guidelines, including:  

  • Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get a flu shot.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Keeping a sick child at home prevents the spread of illness in the school community and allows the child an opportunity to rest and recover.  Please refer to the ESD handbook for health attendance guidelines. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact one of ESD's school nurses.