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Coronavirus Update #8 - 3/24/20
Posted 3/24/20

Newport-Mesa Unified School District Logo

Coronavirus Update #8

March 24, 2020

We understand there are fears and anxiety around the coronavirus. The health and safety of our community continues to be a priority, and as you know our District receives information and guidance from local, county and state education and health authorities. We have a collaborative relationship with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA). If the OCHCA has a COVID-19 concern they will contact individuals directly. 

Information about COVID-19 is evolving and frequently changes. The best way to stay healthy is to follow the recommendations of public health officials. As we provide the lunch program and interact with families to launch the distance learning program, we are following the recommended precautions to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. It is important for everyone to continue to follow the health guidelines issued by the Governor of California, local, state and federal public health authorities, including social distancing measures, staying home except for essential services and frequent handwashing measures to reduce the transmission of the virus.    

Guidelines:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay away from work, school, or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

  • Follow guidance from public health officials.

  • Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

If you think you or your student is sick, please consult with your health care provider. If you need additional resources, please contact the Orange County Health Care Agency at 1-800-564-8448, from 8 am to 8 pm, daily. 

Resources:


Coronavirus Update #7

March 12, 2020

Dear Newport-Mesa Community, 

Thank you all for your flexibility and patience as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. Below you will find an update on where things stand today in Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD), based on recommendations from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Please note that at this time, there is no recommendation from health care agencies for closing our schools. NMUSD schools will remain open with the following modifications, in accordance with healthcare agency guidelines, at least through the month of March.

Social Distancing

  • Large gatherings that include 250 people or more will be postponed or canceled. This guidance does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes, work, or essential services.
  • All overnight field trips are canceled or postponed. All other local school events are being evaluated by principals. 
  • Principals are evaluating small school gatherings to determine if they are essential or non-essential, as they determine whether to modify, postpone or cancel certain events. This includes meetings, events, assemblies, performances, festivals, and other school activities. 
  • In consultation with other Orange County school districts, NMUSD athletic contests will be suspended, effective tomorrow, March 13, 2020, until further notice. Teams will still be allowed to practice. 
  • District staff is reviewing school facility use permits to determine any potential changes.
  • Please be mindful that principals will need time to discuss and evaluate possible changes at their schools. Principals will communicate to their school communities regarding modified, postponed, or canceled events and activities. 

NMUSD will continue to keep our community informed as we get new information from health care and educational agencies. Please visit the NMUSD Coronavirus Newsfeed for updates.

The County of Orange is hosting a virtual town hall with the OC Health Care Agency regarding COVID-19 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM PST tonight, Thursday, March 12. Participants can call 855-756-7520 Ext.56750# to join in or stream it on the OC Health Care Agency’s Facebook page - www.facebook.com/ochealthinfo

-Dr. Fred Navarro
Superintendent
Newport-Mesa Unified School District

 

Resources

 


3/10/2020

Coronavirus Update #6

Dear Newport-Mesa community,

We continue to follow precautions and follow the guidelines from the California Department of Education (CDE), California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA).

This weekend the CDPH provided updated school guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. While the CDPH has noted that “older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness”, and risk of infection in Orange County is still believed to be low, we must all take everyday precautions to protect ourselves and our community.

Please see below for the latest information from health care agencies and an update on our District’s efforts to maintain the health of students, staff, and school community.

  • Health care agencies emphasize the importance of practicing good health hygiene:

    • Stay home when you are sick

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water

    • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

    • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing

    • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces

  • Students and staff who present with fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms will be sent home.

  • Students or staff who have traveled the last 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as Level 3 or above (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea) shall be excluded from school or work. Additionally, anyone who has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 shall also be excluded from school/work for 14 days from the day of their last exposure.

Frequently Asked Questions 

 

REMINDERS:

Travel:

People who travel outside the country will be screened upon re-entry to the United States, as determined by federal and state officials. NMUSD does not have the authority to monitor travel of our students or staff. 

If you travel to any country with COVID-19 travel advisories during the upcoming spring break, you will be subject to the above guidelines and any new guidelines that may be implemented. Visit the CDC website for a list of destinations with risk of community spread of Coronavirus.

If you travel to any affected countries we urge you to follow all related guidelines to support the health and safety of our community.

Resources


March 4, 2020

Update #5

Dear Newport-Mesa Community

In partnership with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) and other state and regional agencies, Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory virus that was first identified in Wuhan City, China. It has since spread to other countries, including the United States.

Please view a short video for facts about the coronavirus - Coronavirus Explained for Kids Via BrainPOP (Edited) (This is an edited version of BrainPOP’s video. All rights to BrainPOP. Original video available at brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/)

Expert Facts & Guidance: 

(As of the morning of March 4, 2020)

  • There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Newport-Mesa schools. 
  • The OCHCA confirmed on March 3, 2020 that there are two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, a man in his 60s and a female in her 30s with recent travel to countries with widespread transmission.
  • While the OCHCA acknowledges the “situation is rapidly evolving,” officials still believe the risk to the general public remains low.
  • The OCHCA maintains that there is no evidence of person-to-person transmission locally.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depending on your travel history, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread. 

NMUSD Actions:

As we focus on current facts and guidance from expert agencies, our District is taking the following actions:

  • Newly Enrolled Students
    • The enrollment process for new students who have traveled from China or any other affected area follows the health care agencies (CDC, CDPH and OCHCA) guidelines of having students self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival to the United States.
    • All new families to the District will meet with an administrator to verify the accuracy of the information provided. If there is a concern about the information or the student’s health status, District health professionals, county and/or state health agencies will be contacted.
    • All principals have access to review enrollment documentation for students at their school.
    • We do not release any student information, including health information, to the public as it would be a violation of confidentiality under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    • Reminder - District programs, activities, practices, and employment shall be free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, or where they have traveled.
  • Travel

As spring recess approaches, we would like to remind you to please take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves and our community from this and any illness. 

  • People who travel outside the country will be screened upon re-entry to the United States, as determined by federal and state officials. NMUSD does not have the authority to monitor travel of our students or staff. 

  • If you travel to mainland China or any country with COVID-19 travel advisories during the upcoming spring break, you will be subject to the above guidelines and any new guidelines that may be implemented. Visit the CDC website for a list of destinations with risk of community spread of Coronavirus.

  • If you travel to any affected countries we urge you to follow all related guidelines to support the health and safety of our community.

  • School Cleanliness
    • NMUSD custodial staff follow proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques daily and ensuring that soap dispensers are properly stocked.

Prevention:

OC Health Care

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Individuals should exercise their own discretion in their use of masks. Students and staff may wear masks should they decide to do so. The OCHCA recommends that persons who are ill stay home to limit the transmission of all viruses.

If you have Symptoms:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except for seeking medical care
  • Contact your child’s school or the District’s Health Services Department at 949-515-6730
  • Seek medical care immediately, but call ahead to report recent travel and symptoms

We will continue to monitor and respond to developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and provide updates. Please visit the District’s coronavirus news feed for updates.


February 26, 2020

Update #4

Dear Newport-Mesa Community,

As a follow-up to today’s message regarding the coronavirus, I would like to make you aware that the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board of Education supports the efforts of multiple agencies as they work toward protecting the safety of our citizens by preventing the State and Federal Government from moving infected coronavirus patients to Fairview Developmental Center until thoughtful plans are in place to ensure the safety of our communities.

While we have tremendous consideration and compassion for those impacted by this virus, our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students, staff and school community. 

We also want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that our District is committed to observing everyone’s rights. District programs, activities, practices, and employment shall be free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, or where they have traveled.

As a reminder, if your child is sick, please keep them home from school to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, follow these important tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and says that handwashing provides better protection from infectious diseases.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. Please visit the District’s coronavirus news feed for updates. Thank you for your cooperation and support.


February 26, 2020

Update #3

Dear Newport-Mesa Community/Staff,

This is a follow-up communication regarding the respiratory virus, coronavirus, that was first identified in Wuhan City, China and has since spread to other countries, including the United States.

The City of Costa Mesa filed legal action on February 21, 2020 against the State of California after it learned federal officials were planning to use the Fairview Development Center to house and quarantine individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus. On Monday, February 24, 2020 a Judge Agreed To Extend Temporary Restraining Order Preventing The State And Federal Government From Moving Infected Novel Coronavirus Patients To Fairview Developmental Center. The Temporary Restraining Order has been extended until March 2, so that all agencies involved can confer and obtain more information. 

While Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) will closely monitor these developments, please visit www.costamesaca.gov/hot-topics/coronavirus for information regarding the City of Costa Mesa action to halt the use of Fairview Developmental Center. 

As previously mentioned, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) notes that there is no evidence of person to person transmission occurring in Orange County and the risk to the public remains low at this time.

NMUSD has a screening process at the Karen Kendall Welcome Center to identify students new to the District who have traveled to the USA from China. Our District is following the Center for Disease Control, State, and County guidelines of having students and families self-quarantine for 14 days prior to starting school. 

The recommendations about self-protection/prevention shared in previous communications remain the same. We continue to follow the situation and will provide updates as needed. Please visit the Newport-Mesa Unified School District coronavirus news feed for District updates. 

Below are related links that you may also find useful:


February 5, 2020

Update #2

Dear Newport-Mesa Community/Staff,

This is a follow-up to a communication from last week regarding the respiratory virus, coronavirus, that was first identified in Wuhan City, China and has since spread to other countries, including the United States.

According to Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) officials, even though there is one case in Orange County, the risk of transmission of coronavirus remains low. OCHCA has noted that travelers returning from China will face a health screening and up to two weeks of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they pose no health risk. Students under self-quarantine will be excused from school during this period. 

Below are updated health guidelines from OCHCA in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national public health emergency declaration. 

If you or someone you know has traveled to China and feels sick, please:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others, except for seeking medical care
  • Contact your child’s school or the District’s Health Services Department at 949-515-6730
  • Seek medical care immediately, but call ahead prior and report recent travel and symptoms
  • Wash hands frequently

How to protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Please see the OCHCA infographic with some basic facts about the novel coronavirus. The infographic explains how coronavirus is spread, what symptoms are associated with the illness, and what steps you can take to protect yourself from airborne respiratory diseases.

Masks: 

Individuals should exercise their own discretion in their use of masks. Students and staff may wear masks should they decide to do so. The OCHCA recommends that persons who are ill stay home to limit the transmission of all viruses.

Updates:

Please contact your healthcare provider or school nurse if you have any questions or concerns related to this or any health care issue. For NMUSD updates on this topic visit the coronavirus news feed.  


January 29, 2020

Update #1

Dear Newport-Mesa Community,

We have been made aware of a fake Daily Pilot article stating that one of our students has an illness linked with coronavirus. The Daily Pilot has confirmed that this is a fake article. We have no reported cases that link any of our students or school community to the Coronavirus. 

Our district works closely with various health agencies. In the event that there is an impact to our school community, we would be informed, work closely with them, and notify the community of any risks. 

You may have heard that there is one individual who tested positive for a respiratory illness caused by coronavirus in Orange County. This information is confirmed by the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

According to the CDPH, there is no evidence that person-to-person transmission has occurred in Orange County and the risk of infection to the public in Orange County is believed to be low. 

Typically, coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

As with any virus, especially during the flu season, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the OCHCA remind us of steps we can take to protect our health and those around us: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
  • Frequent handwashing with soap
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth 
  • Stay at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms 
  • See more prevention tips here from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP)

Please contact your healthcare provider for any guidance related to this or any other health concern that you may have. Our District will continue to monitor the situation and update you as needed. For the latest updates on the coronavirus, please visit the CDCP website