Dallas ISD is monitoring the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and working with national and local health authorities to provide the latest information to families and staff. While no cases have yet been reported in Dallas, the district is taking measures to inform the community about the progression of the illness. A website with frequently asked questions and links to information resources is available at www.dallasisd.org/healthupdates, and letters are being distributed to campuses to send home with students.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Novel Coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. There are other viruses in the coronavirus family that can cause illness in both humans and animals. These viruses can cause either mild illness like a cold or can make people very sick with pneumonia. This particular coronavirus has not been seen previously in humans. The virus is likely to be spread from person to person. Since the virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. There is no vaccine or treatment available for this or other coronaviruses.
Dallas ISD Health Services is working closely with officials of Dallas County Health and Human Services and providing all campus nurses with guidelines and procedures to follow if individuals present symptoms and have a travel history that may have brought them into contact with someone known to have the illness. Dallas ISD will continue to monitor the progress of the illness and communicate with parents and staff on an ongoing basis.
Custodial staff will perform extra cleaning of schools and district offices, and school bus drivers have been asked to clean bus interiors. If needed, the district has access to large-scale outside vendors who can deep-clean classrooms and schools. School closures are among options available to control the spread of the virus if recommended by the CDC or other health authorities.