Coronavirus FAQs

Updated on Mon, 06/01/2020 - 2:52pm

See below answers to frequently asked questions about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Updated: June 1,2020

 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Basics

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. Similar to the flu, these viruses spread through coughing or sneezing. The coronavirus generating concern around the world is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. 

What are common symptoms of COVID-19?

People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness. The commonly reported symptoms as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may appear 2-14 days after exposure. 

Based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

How does the virus spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Are children more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19?

No, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred in adults. However infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. Children should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection, including cleaning hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza vaccine.

Based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What if I have a general question about COVID-19?

If you have a general question about COVID-19, you can call the state’s help line toll-free at 1-877-462-2911.

How to Protect Yourself

What can I do to prevent COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and practicing good hygiene habits as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the best way to stay healthy and avoid the spread of illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner with a concentration of at least 60 percent. Handwashing Tips/Resources from the CDC
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Monitor your health and stay home when sick.

My child feels anxious about COVID-19. Do you have resources for how I can talk to them about the virus?

It’s natural to be worried or anxious about a new virus.Remember, children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. 

Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.

The National Association of School Psychologists has specific guidelines and talking points for families when having conversations about COVID-19 with their child. 

  • Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Make yourself available.

  • Avoid blaming.

  • Monitor television viewing and social media.

  • Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible.

  • Be honest and accurate.

  • Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices for protection.

 

School Related Questions

Is the Five Star District prepared for the possibility of widespread illness?

The school district has a pandemic plan which is being reviewed internally and in collaboration with local and state public health partners. This plan includes responses to significant staff absences, school closures or other circumstances that affect our ability to operate school as usual. 

Adams 12 Five Star Schools Pandemic Incident Response Plan

We are hopeful that we will not have to operationalize this plan, but we’re prepared to do so to support the health and safety of our students, staff and community, and to minimize any impact to learning in our schools.

How are schools and buildings in the Five Star District cleaned and disinfected?

District and school staff clean all buildings daily. This includes:

  • Daily cleaning of common surfaces (e.g., desks, tables, countertops, walls) and frequently touched objects (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, railings, door frames, etc.) restrooms and water fountains with cleaning products. 

  • Providing disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down by students and staff before each use as supplies are available. 

How will the Five Star District determine whether schools need to close?

We will follow our state and local public health partners’ lead on any closures or other health measures as necessary. 

The state has previously shared the following school closure criteria to follow regarding COVID-19 in schools:

  • Any school* in Colorado with a single confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff or student will close for a minimum of 72 hours for cleaning and social distancing.  

  • Any schools that are closed will partner with their local public health agency to conduct contact tracing and further COVID-19 testing.

  • Any school with a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff or student within a 30 day period requires a second minimum 72 hour closure for cleaning, testing and public health investigation.

  • Any school with three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff or students within a 30 day period requires a closure for a minimum of 14 days.

  • If three schools in a district have confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 30 day period, all schools within the district are required to close for a minimum of 14 days for cleaning, testing and public health investigation.

 Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Planning for Schools and Child Care Closure - from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

I’m concerned about COVID-19. Can I keep my child home from school?

We are doing everything in our power to prevent the spread of illness in our schools. As a parent, it is at your discretion to keep your child home due to a health concern. 

In the event of an outbreak in our community, we would follow our public health partners’ lead on any closures or other health measures as necessary. 

How will the district handle student absences if I chose to keep my child home?

Parents have the right to excuse their child's absence and should notify their child’s school as they normally would. If a family indicates they’re keeping their child home out of concern for COVID-19, the absences will be excused when:

  • The family provides the school with this decision in writing - email or letter.

When should I keep my child home from school?

It can be challenging knowing whether your child is too ill to go to school. Your child is too ill to go to school if he/she has any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Seems very tired and needs bed rest (this can be common with flu).

  • Is vomiting or has diarrhea.

  • Becomes short of breath or has an increase in wheezing during normal activity.

  • Has a cough that disrupts his/her normal activity.

  • Has severe pain from earache, headache, sore throat, or recent injury.

  • Has yellow or green drainage from the eye(s).

  • Has a rash that is weeping or oozing.

  • Has a fever of 100.0°F or above, and any of the above noted symptoms.

A great resource for families is our Should Your Child Stay Home? section of our website which includes more detailed information. 

External Resources

Where can I find more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)?