The Houston Independent School District is closely monitoring an international outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus to provide parents, students and staff updates with the latest information.
Currently, there have been no confirmed cases in the state of Texas of the outbreak that was first identified in Wuhan, China.
As part of HISD’s due diligence to ensure campuses and facilities are safe and healthy, the district has trained staff who routinely monitor individuals who exhibit fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In this case, staff are also inquiring about recent personal travel.
While HISD and the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to monitor the coronavirus closely, students and staff are encouraged to follow basic hand and cough hygiene measures to prevent colds, flu, and coronavirus.
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to a virus. CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- 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 that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick and remain home until fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you have traveled to Wuhan, had close contact with someone who has traveled to the region, or know of a person being evaluated for the coronavirus infection, you should call your healthcare provider immediately.