From the Ohio Department of Health
The Ohio Department of Health offers the following talking points with updates on information about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Please use these when talking with students, parents and/or guardians, faculty, and staff.
- The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new virus strain that started in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Health experts continue to learn more about novel coronavirus because little is known about its potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.
- Currently the risk to the general public is low. At this time, there are a small number of individual cases in the United States. To minimize the risk of spread, health officials are working with health care providers to promptly identify and evaluate any possible cases.
- Currently you are only at risk if you are displaying symptoms and have recently traveled to China in the 14 days before feeling sick, or have been in contact with someone who possibly has the virus and has traveled to China in the 14 days before getting sick.
- People who have been diagnosed with 2019 novel coronavirus have reported symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing that may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure to the virus. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019 novel coronavirus /faq.html). Remember, at this point you are more likely to catch the flu or a common cold, which show some of the same symptoms.
- No cases of 2019 novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Ohio and there are currently no persons under investigation (PUI).
- Health experts are still learning the details about how 2019 novel coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:
- The air by coughing and sneezing.
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or
- In rare cases, contact with feces.
- ODH advises that persons follow the usual recommendations for reducing their risk of infection for other illnesses, such as influenza. These recommendations include:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water. If unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick (except to visit a health care professional) and to avoid contact with others.
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
- Students may be asked about their travel history (especially to China) if they present with respiratory symptoms and about any ill contacts within 14 days of symptom onset. If any students traveled to Wuhan or another outbreak area, parents and/or guardians will be advised to seek medical care for the student if they feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Read more about 2019 novel coronavirus symptoms.
- We will be in contact with the local health department immediately if we feel we may have a patient with 2019 novel coronavirus. Local and state public health staff will determine if the patient meets the criteria for a PUI for 2019 novel coronavirus.
- Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces will continue throughout the school per the standard procedures for infection prevention.
- Anyone traveling overseas (to China, but also to other places) should follow the CDC’s Traveler’s Health guidance here. As of January 30, 2020, the CDC has issued a Warning Level 4 Travel Advisory for China. This means do not travel to China. The situation is evolving, so please check the CDC Traveler's Health page for the most up-to-date information.
Visit www.odh.ohio.gov/coronavirus and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019 novel coronavirus /summary.html for more information.