March 6, 2020
Dear Superintendents,

It was nice to see many of you at our ACSA meeting this morning. Following our discussion, we have:
  • Reached out to public health for clarification on how schools and districts may be notified in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case involving a school.
  • Created this Google Doc for your legal questions regarding COVID-19 response. Please add your questions to the document and we will work with Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost to get answers.
  • Requested a conference call briefing for superintendents with Dr. Wilma Wooten, Public Health Officer for San Diego County.

I also want to make sure you are aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance for people who have traveled to countries with widespread, ongoing transmission of COVID-19. 

At this time, people who have traveled to China , Iran , Italy , and South Korea (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) are asked to self-quarantine and practice social distancing for a period of 14 days from the time they left the area. We anticipate Japan (Level 2 Travel Health Notice) will be added to that list soon, so our materials reflect the same guidance.

Specifically, the CDC instructions for people who have traveled to these countries are:
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

With spring break approaching, you may want to share this information with parents and staff. This template letter, in English and Spanish, provides some language you can use to inform your community about the new guidance.

Your district should also consider how to address self-quarantine-related absences (whether for employees or for students). Yesterday the California Department of Education sent guidance to school districts and charter schools regarding independent study and distance learning options; view it here.

We have added the letter to our COVID-19 webpage, in addition to other resources for district leadership and school nurses.

We will share additional information as it becomes available. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need additional assistance in the meantime.


Dr. Paul Gothold
San Diego County Superintendent of Schools
phone: 858-292-3514