Health Information - Coronavirus

Health Information - Coronavirus
Posted on 02/27/2020

Up To Date Information

Please visit the Washington State Department of Health's Coronavirus page for the most updated factual information. The page also includes the School Resources for Coronavirus page.

 

Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures

Special processes beyond routine cleaning are not necessary nor recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illness. Schools should follow standard procedures for cleaning with third party certified “green” cleaners and disinfecting with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectant with a claim for human coronaviruses. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as bathrooms, water coolers, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands‐on learning items, faucet handles, phones and toys.

Disinfecting is the responsibility of school custodial staff. They are trained to use disinfectants in a safe and effective manner and to clean up potentially infectious materials and body fluid spills – blood, vomit, feces, and urine. Contact your custodian or school nurse if students are ill and your classroom needs cleaning and disinfection.

Clean the surface first to remove all organic matter. Custodial staff should follow the disinfectant manufacturer’s instructions for use including:


Using the proper concentration of disinfectant

Allowing the required wet contact time

Paying close attention to hazard warnings and instructions for using personal protective items such as gloves and eye protection

Using disinfectants in a sufficiently ventilated space

 

Background

As you may know, China is experiencing an expanding outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus emerged in Hubei Province, China in December 2019. The virus is spreading from person-to-person, and cases have been detected in a number of countries internationally and the United States, including one case in Washington on January 21, 2020. The Washington case occurred in a Snohomish County resident who had recently traveled to Wuhan.
At this time, the immediate risk to the general public in Washington and the United States is 

considered to be low. There is no evidence that 2019-nCoV is spreading in Washington at this time.

What is a coronavirus?

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). 2019-nCoV is a new coronavirus that had not been seen in humans before December 2019.

Who is at risk for 2019-nCoV?

At this time, most people in Washington are not considered at risk for 2019-nCoV infection and do not need to seek medical evaluation for the virus.

How is the novel coronavirus infection spread?

Experts believe that the 2019-nCoV primarily spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel up to about six feet. Another person can become infected if these droplets enter their mouth, nose or eyes directly or through their contaminated hands. An infected person who coughs or sneezes into their hands and touches surfaces can contaminate surfaces such as phones, tables, door handles, or toys. While some coronaviruses can be spread to others through contaminated surfaces, coronaviruses generally do not survive on surfaces for a prolonged period of time. It takes 2 to 14 days after a person gets the virus in their body to become ill.

Where can I turn for more information?

Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 2020, Washington State Department of Health
2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Guidance for Travelers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 Washington State Department of Health novel coronavirus call center: 1-800-525-0127 and press #

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