Local school systems are paying attention to the coronavirus threat

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Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — Schools in Mobile and Baldwin Counties are following guidelines put forth by the Alabama Department of Public Health over the rising threat of a coronavirus outbreak.

Mobile County Public School spokesperson Rena Philips told News 5 those guidelines are similar to how schools respond to the flu. They reminding students and staff about increased handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if they are feeling ill.

Schools in Escambia County, Fla. are treating this similarly to the flu. Even though there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus, school officials are making sure all students are keeping their hands washed. Meanwhile, staff are also keeping surfaces clean around campus.

Baldwin County Schools spokesperson Chasity Riddick says the system is also following ALPH guidelines and says parents will be well informed if any situations regarding coronavirus arise.

Here are the guidelines:

Stay home when sick.

1.            Students and staff who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are asked to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° CJ or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).

2.            Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become severe, such as high fever or difficulty breathing.

Encourage students and staff to use “respiratory etiquette” through education and provision of supplies.

1.            Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. See CDC’s Cover Your Cough page.

(www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm).

2.            Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trash cans.

3.            Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

4.            Separate sick students and staff from others until they can go home.

5.            Encourage flu vaccine for those who have not had it this season to reduce illnesses and absences on campus (however, this will not prevent coronavirus illnesses).

6.            Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol­based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

7.            Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.

8.            Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

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