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Coronavirus update distributed to Ventura County schools by county Public Health officer

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Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin

 

Ventura County Public Heath Officer Dr. Robert Levin issued an updated advisory to the county superintendent of schools on Tuesday, Feb. 4, regarding the coronavirus, asking that it be distributed to all schools and school districts in Ventura County.

In keeping with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for exposure in “travel-associated or community settings,” Levin issued a letter stating that people who have arrived from China from Feb. 3 should follow the CDC guidance.
“Such individuals who have come back to the United States after spending time in any part of China but have not been in Hubei Province are classified as being at medium risk,” he stated.
As such, they are advised to self-monitor “with Public Health Supervision,” and ”to the extent possible, remain at home or in a comparable setting for 14 days from the date of leaving China. Avoid congregate settings, limit public activities, and practice social distancing.”
Specifically with regard to schools, Levin stated in his coronavirus advisory:
  
“• Any student who has been in China’s Hubei province (home of Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus) within the last 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine. It is likely that these children are already being quarantined on a military base near their point of entry into the United States.
“• Any student returning from anywhere in China in the preceding 14 days who develops a fever and/or respiratory symptoms should be quarantined in their home until he or she has seen a physician and has been cleared by the Ventura County Health Department after receiving confirmation from the CDC that it is not the coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
“These recommendations are subject to additional modifications as more information is learned about 2019-nCoV.
“Students of Chinese descent who have not traveled to China are at no greater risk of 2019-nCoV infection than any other student.
Those with concerns or questions are asked to contact Communicable Diseases at 805-981-5201.
Levin stated that the interim guidance is effective as of Feb. 3, “and does not apply retrospectively to people who have been in China during the previous 14 days and are already in the United States, or those being managed as part of a contact investigation.”
A Ventura County resident is being tested for the coronavirus, according to the Ventura County Public Health Department. As of Saturday, Feb. 1, the patient was in isolation until the results are provided. There have been no confirmed cases in Ventura County.
In a Ventura County Public Health alert on Saturday, Feb. 2, Levin stated in a press release:
"Anyone who has recently traveled to China, and become ill with fever, cough or shortness of breath is advised by the Public Health Department to contact a health care provider and to communicate their travel history.
"As with any virus, especially during the flu season, the Public Health Department reminds people of the steps they can take to protect their health and those around them:
"— Wash hands with soap and water.
"— Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
"— Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
"— If someone does become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough, they should stay away from work, school or other people to avoid spreading illness."
For the most up-to-date information regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
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