Local school districts prepare coronavirus prevention strategies

Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 05:37:44-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va.— The death toll from coronavirus continues to rise in the United States.

Six people in Washington state have now died from the coronavirus, according to health officials—prompting at least 48 schools to close in the state.

No cases of the virus have been confirmed in Virginia, but school officials are taking precautions now that more than 90 people have been infected nationwide.

Suffolk Public Schools says they are reviewing their response plans and are working closely with local and state health officials to track the virus.

News 3 reached out to the school districts in the seven cities, and they are all taking a similar approach.

Suffolk schools sent students home with a letter for parents to detail their prevention and protection strategies.

They say the risk is low, but they are encouraging good hand hygiene and cough etiquette to limit the spread of germs and prevent infection. They are also asking parents to make sure they are doing the same thing at home.

Suffolk Public Schools is asking parents to remember the basics: Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or use your elbow.

Suffolk is encouraging families to keep students home if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms and to see their healthcare professional if they have any health concerns.

The school district also notes that while concern is growing over coronavirus, “Virginia is still experiencing widespread influenza activity.”

Many schools districts, including Suffolk, have a specific FAQ just for coronavirus that you can find on the district webpage.