Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on Fri, 03/06/2020 - 1:29pm

See below answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19. This is an rapidly, evolving situation and these will be updated as needed. Updated: March 6,2020

  1. What is a coronavirus?
  2. What are common symptoms of COVID-19?
  3. How does the virus spread?
  4. Are children more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19?
  5. What if I have a general question about COVID-19?
  6. What can I do to prevent COVID-19?
  7. My child feels anxious about COVID-19. Do you have resources for how I can talk to them about the virus?
  8. Is the Five Star District prepared for the possibility of widespread illness?
  9. How are schools and buildings in the Five Star District cleaned and disinfected?
  10. How will the Five Star District determine whether schools need to close?
  11. If the Five Star District has to close schools, is there an e-learning plan in place?
  12. I’m concerned about COVID-19. Can I keep my child home from school?
  13. How will the district handle student absences if I chose to keep my child home?
  14. When should I keep my child home from school?
  15. What is the district’s plan concerning travel?
  16. Where can I find more information about the coronavirus?

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. Most of the illnesses around the world are mild, with fever and cough. A much smaller percentage of cases are severe and involve pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions.The following commonly reported symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing

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

How does the virus spread?

Health experts are still learning the details. Currently it is thought to spread:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

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.

What can I do to prevent COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and practicing good hygiene habits is the best way to stay healthy and avoid the spread of illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

  • 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.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

  • 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.

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. 

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.

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. We currently have no schools where a case of COVID-19 has been identified. If that changes and health authorities recommend a school closure, we will follow that guidance.

If the Five Star District has to close schools, is there an e-learning plan in place?

Over the past several years the district has been working on increasing the number of devices available for student use. Having said that, we are not currently a 1:1 school district. 

In the event of a district shutdown due to COVID-19, Adams 12 Five Star Schools has a variety of resources that students can access to stay engaged in a self-directed manner. The following list serves as a starting point for students and parents to explore. Additional information will be provided should the need arise.

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. Prolonged absences may require a doctor's note.

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. 

What is the district’s plan concerning travel?

We will follow the lead of public health partners, at both the national and local levels, for official guidelines in regards to students/families returning from impacted countries. 

  • District sponsored international trips

    • No trips will be taken to countries with a Level 3 travel advisory for COVID-19. We are following the travel advisories issued from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    • The impact of COVID-19 abroad can change from day to day and we are regularly monitoring the situation. The district reserves the right to postpone or cancel these trips, and families have the option to not allow their students to participate. 

  • District sponsored domestic trips

    • As of now, district sponsored domestic trips are still scheduled to take place. We are monitoring the situation closely. The district reserves the right to cancel these trips, and families have the option to not allow their students to participate. 

  • Privately scheduled international trips

    • As for privately scheduled international trips (staff and students/families), families are encouraged to visit the CDC’s website (www.cdc.gov) for Travel Information and COVID-19.

Where can I find more information about the coronavirus?