CORONAVIRUS: Too close for comfort?’

Constant news reports contact transmission

News about the coronavirus is all over the world. Every news station is reporting about it and giving tips on how to stay healthy. 

What is the coronavirus exactly? The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses with symptoms ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases. The type of CoV that is spreading now (COVID-19) is a new form that has not infected humans before. The viruses can be transmitted from animals to humans. 

The common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, runny nose, dry cough, aches, congestion, and sore throat. The symptoms are usually mild. The World Health Organization reports that about 80% of the people who get the virus recover without special treatment and one out of six infected people become seriously ill. Older people and people with other illnesses are more susceptible to developing serious symptoms. 

WHO has found that the virus spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that are coughed or sneezed out? To prevent catching the virus, it is suggested to wash your hands frequently, maintain distance from sick people, avoid touching your face, and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and stay home if you feel sick.   

WHO says to seek medical care if you develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing? 

Since COVID-19 is a new and unknown virus that is rapidly spreading, it has caused a lot of worry. There have been about 100,000 cases of the virus worldwide. NBC reports that as of now there have been 14 deaths across the US. 

The rapidly spreading virus has reached the Sacramento region and has put many people on edge. At the beginning of March, a patient in Placer County died of the virus. The New York Times says this was the 11th person to die of the virus in the US and it is the first death outside Washington State. The patient had underlying health conditions and probably caught the virus on an international cruise. 

Governor Gavin Newsom has since declared a state of emergency in California. There is another cruise ship called the Grand Princess that Newsom said was being held off the coast of San Francisco with 21 people on board showing symptoms. So far, there are no confirmed cases on the ship. 

Sacramento County declared a public health emergency and local emergency on March 5, 2020. Phil Serna, a chairman on the Board of Supervisors, said that “Our intent in proclaiming a state of emergency in response to the spread of COVID-19 is to ensure uninterrupted access to the resources necessary to keep people as safe as possible and lessen disease transmission.” The declaration does not mean that conditions in Sacramento are dangerous. The declaration is intended to help keep the virus controlled. 

Down the street from CKM, a family from the K-8 school, Leonardo da Vinci, came in contact with the virus and was asked to stay home. Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) sent out an email March 5, 2020 notifying parents at Leonardo da Vinci. 

According to Devon Davis, the Leonardo da Vinci principal, the school is being deep cleaned at night and the family is not showing symptoms. 

People at CKM were also possibly exposed to the virus and are being self-quarantined. Principal Lambert assured parents in an email that activities should go on as normal. The school was also deep cleaned before school March 6, 2020. 

According to The SacBee, SCUSD is working with local health officials to plan future school events. School officials are also discussing plans for online learning if the school is ordered to be shut down in the future. 

 The evening of March 12, the district sent out an email letting parents know school will be closed for 2 weeks. Since the first email, the shutdown was extended till after spring break and school will return on April 13th. With the advisory of the Governor, SCUSD shut down all their schools for the remainder of the year.  

Teachers contacted all students to check in and plan for distant learning to begin after spring break. The district provided each family one Chromebook and are using programs such as google classroom and zoom to teach students from home.