January 27, 2020

Coronavirus Update
Dear San Marino Unified Parents and Community,

We are continuing to closely monitor the novel coronavirus and want to provide you with an update and the very latest information. As you may know, there are now two confirmed cases in California. One was confirmed in Orange County and the other in Los Angeles County. The case in Los Angeles County is not a resident of the county, rather he is a Wuhan resident that was traveling back to China with a stop in Los Angeles according to an L.A. Times report. You can  read the full story here

In regard to the case in Los Angeles County, The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said today, "Despite this case in Los Angeles, there is no immediate threat to the general public, no special precautions are required , and people should not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel if they do not have symptoms of respiratory illness. Los Angeles residents, students, workers, and visitors should continue to engage in their regular activities and practice good public health hygiene as this is the height of flu season across the County. The risk from the novel coronavirus 2019 to spread in Los Angeles County residents is deemed to be low at this time."  

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is continuing to work with the Centers for Disease Control to screen and monitor travelers coming into the Los Angeles International Airport from China. You can read more about their screening process and protocols from  today's update from the L.A. County Department of Public Health here.

The San Marino Unified School District is still advising parents, as we always do, do not send your child to school if they may be sick . Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff. If children are sent to school sick, they can be removed from class and school as deemed appropriate by our staff and nurses. If you, your child, or family recently traveled to or from China, we also ask that you take extra precautions and seek a medical evaluation from your doctor before returning to school. 

Center for Disease Control and L.A. County Department of Health Guidelines

If you or someone you know has traveled to Wuhan and feel sick, please:
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except for seeking medical care.
  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
If you or someone you know is planning on traveling to Wuhan, the following are important steps to take:
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Stay home when you are sick
Stay home from work and school and try to avoid errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading the illness to others.

"Students and staff with influenza symptoms, including a fever, a cough or sore throat, should stay home and not attend classes or participate in other group activities for at least 24 hours after the fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medications," says Pamela Kahn, Orange County Department of Education's coordinator of Health and Wellness.

Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Cover your mouth and nose
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by coughing, sneezing or unclean hands.

Clean your hands
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.  Here is a three-minute video from the CDC about proper handwashing:  https://youtu.be/eZw4Ga3jg3E

Practice other good health habits
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

For more flu prevention tips, visit  http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/index.htm

Next Steps for us in the San Marino Unified School District

We will continue to be in close contact with the Los Angeles County Department of Health and have many dedicated staff members who are working nights and weekends to ensure we are following the very latest details with the novel coronavirus and keeping you informed. As you know, the health and wellbeing of our students and staff is truly our first priority. If we all work together and follow these important guidelines, we can keep our students, staff, and community healthy.  Please share this information with your family and caregivers. We truly appreciate your partnership in this and will continue to keep you informed as things develop. 

If you have any questions, please contact District Nurse Bob Judge or District Health Coordinator Joanne Javier at (626) 299-7000 x1385. We thank you for your cooperation and support.