EL PASO, Texas-- As the Coronavirus outbreak continues to spread nationwide, city health officials are working with school districts to keep students, teachers and faculty safe. Health and area district officials met to discuss ongoing preventative measures to reduce the risk of spreading the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
School districts have been directed to have students return from Spring Break later than originally scheduled. Children with special healthcare needs should not return to school during the current school year.
All students, faculty and staff with travel history of less than 14 days will have to stay home for 14 days before returning to school. Those students will only be allowed to return if they are asymptomatic. Children with influenza-like symptoms will be sent home by a school nurse, they will not be allowed to return until they no longer have a fever.
All school districts are being directed by health officials to cancel mass gatherings or events to include but not limited to sports, graduations and concerts.
Area schools will have to collect information on a daily basis on student absences due to influenza-like illness, starting on the first day the students return from spring break.
All schools will have to promote and implement effective hygiene activity among students and personnel. Students will have to be taught proper hand washing, cough etiquette, cleaning of working surfaces and social distancing.
All schools will also have to stagger lunch hours to prevent large gatherings in the cafeteria.
Health officials will consider factors for temporary dismissal of school including a presumptive positive case of COVID-19, community-wide spread of the virus, or impact to our community.
Health officials will be reaching out to private and charter schools in order to make the entire educational community aware of the preventative measures.