The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning to expect a wider spread of the coronavirus in the U.S., saying it remains unclear how severe the health threat could be – but that a sustained transmission of the virus is possible and has advised schools, businesses, and communities to plan for potential outbreaks.
The Houston Independent School District is in contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Texas Department of Health and Human Services and Houston Health Department, and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure plans are in place and protocols are followed to keep all students and staff members safe and updated with the latest information.
As part of HISD’s effort 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 will follow appropriate assessment and monitoring protocols for students and staff who report feeling ill. Staff are also inquiring about recent personal travel, and new students wishing to enroll at any HISD school are being asked to complete a routine travel history questionnaire as a precaution.
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.