March 6, 2020
A new coronavirus called 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus, first found in China, can lead to fever, cough and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. There are thousands of diagnosed cases in China and new cases being diagnosed in countries including the United States.
Health experts believe the virus probably spreads from animals to humans and from person to person. It’s not clear yet how easily the virus spreads from person to person.
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, Coronavirus:
- 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 (information to date suggests that 2019-nCoV causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough and difficulty breathing).
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
You may have heard from your children that they have been asked to wash their hands and use sanitizer more often and have been reminded about the precautions above. Incorporating these preventative recommendations are part of our prevention strategy.
Albion Central receives information and updates about this and other health issues from the Orleans County and New York State Health Departments, the New York State Education Department and the United States Center for Disease Control. The Orleans-Niagara BOCES health and safety team, another source of information for us, has visited our schools and reviewed our cleaning products and procedures and reports that we are using the best available products and techniques to prevent the spread of viruses.
This is an emerging, rapidly changing situation. For questions, please contact your local department of health or the NYS DOH Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065. We encourage you to keep up to date about 2019-nCoV, its treatment and prevention by visiting the following websites:
- CDC’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website at https://www.cdc.gov/nCoV
- NYSDOH’s dedicated 2019-nCoV website at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus
- NYSDOH directory of local health departments https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/
- New York State Center for School Health website at www.schoolhealthny.com
We will post important updates we receive to the District website for you to review.