No coronavirus cases in Capistrano Unified; district prepares

By Elysse James

No cases of coronavirus have been identified in any Capistrano Unified schools, but the school district is educating staff and officials and monitoring the situation — and the health of students — closely.

The risk to the public at this time remains low and there is no evidence of person-to-person spread of the disease, Orange County Department of Health officials have said. Schools do not need to cancel any events or activities at this time. The Orange County Health Care Agency has stated there are two possible coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases pending test results in addition to the one confirmed case —now fully recovered — in the county, bringing the total number of cases in the county to three. The county has declared a local health emergency as part of a broader preparedness effort.

“The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority,” said Ryan Burris, Chief Communications Officer. “The district will continue to work closely with state and federal public health agencies to ensure our community is both safe and prepared.”

In the event that schools may need to close, Capistrano Unified would coordinate with the Orange County Health Care Agency and the Orange County Department of Education. For now, everyone should continue to practice good hygiene by washing their hands well, staying home when sick, covering coughs or sneezes with a sleeve or tissue (not hands), and avoiding close contact with people who are sick, officials say.

The district janitorial staff already disinfect and clean campuses daily, and the district is adding plans for additional cleaning.

Capistrano Unified’s Executive Cabinet members and leadership held two separate calls, one on March 3 with the Orange County Health Care Agency, and one on March 4 with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Operations Center, to learn more about how the disease could affect schools and how local agencies could coordinate their resources if needed.

More information and resources are available on the district website here.

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