The Langley School District is recommending any students or staff who have been to the Chinese province at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak should stay home for two weeks.
A letter sent out Feb. 7 to parents updates health recommendations.
Students or staff returning from Hubei province, in China, should consider staying home for 14 days after leaving Hubei, says the district letter.
They should monitor themselves for symptoms such as fever or cough, and contact their doctor or the 8-1-1 health line if they develop any symptoms.
The district also recommends that anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus should also consider staying home for 14 days after their last encounter. As of Monday, Feb. 10, only four people in B.C. have been diagnosed.
Students or staff who have been in other parts of China, outside of Hubei, should monitor themselves for symptoms for two weeks, but are not being asked to stay home from school.
Any students who stay home will have opportunities to catch up on classwork via distance learning or once they are back, said the district letter.
The district has not announced any plans to cancel school events, outings, or field trips.
The Canadian government has advised the public to avoid non-essential travel to China while the new virus is still spreading. China has offered to help the Chinese government with the outbreak of the new disease, which began spreading late last year in the city of Wuhan.
As of Monday, Feb. 10, the virus has infected more than 40,000 people and caused more than 900 deaths. The vast majority of the deaths and infections have been in China and largely in Wuhan province.
With masks becoming more common in an attempt to prevent catching or spreading the virus, including in B.C., the provincial medical health officer has given some advice on the topic:
“Wearing masks in public, with a goal of preventing spread of illness, can be a way some communities show respect for others,” wrote Dr. Bonnie Henry. “While we do not recommend wearing masks for healthy children, it is important that any children who do wear masks are treated with respect and not fear.”
Reducing the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus is similar to avoiding spreading colds and flu.
Health officials are recommending washing hands frequently using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, and using alcohol based hand rubs if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your face, eyes, or mouth with unwashed hands, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
If sick, stay home to avoid passing it on.