District Update on COVID-19

3/4/2020
NTPS

 

The district continues to monitor and be in communication with the Thurston County Department of Public Health and Social Services regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We will follow their professional guidance and keep staff and families updated accordingly. Most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. This virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States, and there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Thurston County. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call the Washington Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127 followed by #. Visit their website at doh.wa.gov >>

Background on COVID-19

This virus emerged in Hubei Province, China in December 2019. The virus is spreading from person-to-person and cases are confirmed in the United States and a number of other countries.  The risk for COVID-19 is not connected to race, ethnicity or nationality. Sharing accurate information, and new information as it emerges, can prevent misinformation from spreading.

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Some coronaviruses have caused more severe illness, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that had not been seen in humans before December 2019.

Who is at Risk for COVID-19?

More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in communities in the United States. It’s likely that at some point, widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur.

Current risk assessment:

  • For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated though still relatively low risk of exposure.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.

Who Should Seek Medical Evaluation for COVID-19?

  • Those with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing AND have traveled from China in the last 14 days; OR
  • Those with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing AND have been identified by the Public Health Department as a recent close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case or had recent close contact with someone who is being evaluated for COVID-19 infection.

What Can I do to Prevent COVID-19 Infection?

The same simple steps that prevent the spread of ordinary flu viruses work against COVID-19 and other illnesses.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand). Then throw tissue away and wash hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Consult your health care provider if you or your child has special health conditions that put you at increased risk

For more information or questions visit the Washington State Department of Health website.

 
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