Vermilion Local Schools Monitoring Coronavirus


Vermilion Local Schools is carefully monitoring news and updates from the Erie and Lorain County Health Departments, the Ohio Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

Superintendent Philip Pempin stated, "We are closely monitoring updates from the CDC, Ohio Department of Health, and both Erie and Lorain Health Departments regarding Coronavirus and its impact on Ohioans. Please follow the Health News page of our website for updates and information."

"Parents can be assured that we are taking precautions in cleaning and preparing classrooms, restrooms and all other areas of our schools," said Pempin. "Guidelines for handling any disease outbreak are included in our Crisis Plan, and we are prepared to follow any instructions from local and State health officials."

The following information was communicated by the Ohio Department of Health on Sunday, February 2, 2020.

The Ohio Department of Health, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local partners, is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illnesses caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and because of its potential to cause severe illness in some people.

The outbreak has been declared a public health emergency by the U.S. and the World Health Organization. ODH has issued a health alert and Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of ODH, has declared 2019-nCoV, a Class A reportable infectious disease. This means confirmed or possible cases must be reported immediately to a local health district, which will report it to ODH. It will then be reported to the CDC. Required reporters include health care providers, laboratory administrators, and any individuals having knowledge of a person with 2019-nCoV.

There is no need for alarm. The risk to the general public remains low. Eight U.S. cases of 2019-nCoV have been confirmed by the CDC as of February 1, 2020. To minimize the risk of spread, health officials and health care providers across the country are working together to promptly identify and evaluate any possible cases.

There are no confirmed cases in Ohio. The CDC, ODH, and Butler County General Health District continue to monitor two possible cases in students at Miami University. Test results from the CDC are expected soon.

ODH is actively working with local health departments and health care providers to identify possible cases of 2019-nCoV and to continue 24/7 monitoring, prevention, and control for all infectious diseases.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE DISEASE FROM ERIE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

The novel coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and have droplets land on them. Symptoms of coronavirus appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing. There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection.

To prevent the spread of any virus including novel coronavirus, practice these preventative measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work and School

General Guidelines for Parents

1.   Get Vaccinated

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. Check with your doctor or local Health Department for more information about flu vaccine.  

2.   Practice Good Health Habits

  • 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.
  • Stay home when you are sick - If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • 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. 
  • Clean your hands - Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth - Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.
  • Stop the Spread of Germs - Healthy habits can protect everyone from getting germs or spreading germs at home, work or school.

3.  Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects.

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu can help slow the spread of influenza.

4.  Keep your child home from school. 

If your child is not feeling well, your physician is the best person to consult about whether he or she can go to school. Common sense, con­cern for your child's well-being, and the possibility of infecting classmates should all contribute to the decision about whether your child should stay home.  Generally, keep your child home if:

  • he or she has a fever
  • he or she is not well enough to participate in class
  • you think he or she may be contagious to other children

If your child is feeling better, but still has minor symptoms such as  runny nose or slight head­ache, they can return to school as long as none of the three symptoms above are present. Make sure the school and your child have a phone number where you can be reached if more serious symptoms develop.  

Sources:

1.   Centers for Disease Control   http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/stopgerms.htm

2.   Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12 (Copyright © 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics)