March 20, 2020
Talking to Students About COVID-19
Your students may have a lot of questions about COVID-19. Below are two slideshows to help positively engage and teach your students about COVID-19.
Coronavirus and COVID-19 Facts
The virus causes respiratory illness, with symptoms including fever, fatigue, cough, and shortness of breath. Some people may have flu, pneumonia, or more serious illness. More information can be found on the CDC's website.
How COVID-19 Spreads
Given concerns some may have about the spread of COVID-19 after an alert was posted at a gymnasium in South San Francisco and a private school closed after a staff member was in contact with a person who had the disease, we thought it was important to remind people how COVID-19 spreads. This information is from the CDC and is available in Spanish and Chinese on the CDC's site.
All schools in San Mateo County continue to be vigilant in cleaning common areas such as bathrooms, water faucets, classrooms, playground equipment, and cafeteria to minimize the spread of germs. Staff and students can take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases. These precautions from the California Department of Public Health are helpful in preventing the spread of common illnesses including influenza and gastroenteritis.
- Stay home when sick. Remain at home until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines. Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing.
- Use “respiratory etiquette." Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. See CDC’s Cover Your Cough page for multilingual posters and flyers, posted at the bottom of the webpage. Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trash cans.
- Wash hands frequently. Encourage hand washing by students and staff through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and the provision of adequate supplies.
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.
- Separate sick students and staff from others until they can go home. When feasible, identify a “sick room” through which others do not regularly pass.
- Encourage flu vaccine for those who haven’t had it this season to reduce illnesses and absences on campus (but won’t prevent coronavirus illnesses).
The California Department of Public Health has released guidance that cloth face coverings could reduce the transmission of COVID-19 only if accompanied with physical distancing and frequent handwashing.
- Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019
- How to Wash Your Hands (Must log in or create a free New York Times account to access)
- San Mateo County Health Video: Symptoms and When to Seek Medical Care (uploaded March 9, 2020)
- San Mateo County Health Video: Protecting the Public (uploaded March 9, 2020)
Phone: (650) 802-5515