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California Releases Updated Guidance for Schools, Colleges & Large Public Events to Prepare and Protect Californians from COVID-19​

Date: March 7, 2020
Number: NR20-014
Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 | CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov


Updated guidance builds off existing emergency plans and incorporates latest science on how the virus is transmitted and global experience fighting COVID-19. 

Governor Newsom: The state of California is working around the clock to help shoulder the burden that Californians are facing during this crisis. We really are all in this.

SACRAMENTO – Today California officials issued updated guidance to schools, colleges and universities, event organizers and public health officials as they plan for further spread of COVID-19.

 

“It’s a question of when – not if – some California public schools will face closure because of COVID-19. School districts must prepare for these scenarios so that parents and children can plan for what would happen if their local school faced closure,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. 

 

“It’s also not lost on anyone that these scenarios would put significant stress on families– especially those with the least financial resources. Already, we are seeing how this outbreak is having significant economic impact on families, workers, businesses and communities across California. The state of California is working around the clock to help shoulder the burden that Californians are facing during this crisis. We really are all in this together,” added Newsom.

 

(PDF) guidance for large events.

 

(PDF) guidance for schools.

 

(PDF) guidance for colleges and universities.

 

“We understand Californians are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and remind them that the best way to protect yourself and others is by washing your hands, covering your sneeze or cough, staying away from others who are sick, and staying home if you are sick. This new guidance is designed to help California improve preparation and prevention,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Health Officer.

Today’s guidance follows guidance released yesterday to support elder care and congregate living facilities. Elder care and congregate (PDF) guidance.

 

For more information on COVID-19 and California’s response visit the CDPH website.


COVID-19 in California by the Numbers (as of 10 a.m. Pacific Time):
88 – Positive cases
1 – Death
24 – Cases of positive tests related to federal repatriation flights
64 – Cases not related to repatriation flights

  • 31 – Travel-related

  • 19 – Person to person

  • 10 – Community transmission

  • 4 – Currently under investigation

10,250+ – Number of people self-monitoring who returned to the U.S. through SFO or LAX
49 – Number of local health jurisdictions involved in self-monitoring
15 – Labs with test kits
 
How Can People Protect Themselves:
Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:

  • Washing hands with soap and water.

  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.

  • Following guidance from public health officials.

 
What to Do if You Think You’re Sick:
Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
 
California’s Response to COVID-19:
We have been actively and extensively planning with our local public health and health care delivery systems. Here are some of the things we are already doing: 

  • As in any public health event, the California Department of Public Health’s Medical and Health Coordination Center has been activated and is coordinating public health response efforts across the state.

  • California continues to prepare and respond in coordination with federal and local partners, hospitals and physicians.

  • Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for broader spread of COVID-19.

  • Governor Gavin Newsom requested the Legislature make up to $20 million available for state government to respond to the spread of COVID-19.

  • California activated the State Operations Center to its highest level to coordinate response efforts across the state.

  • 24 million more Californians are now eligible for free medically necessary COVID-19 testing.

  • California made available some of its emergency planning reserves of 21 million N95 filtering facepiece masks for use in certain health care settings to ease shortages of personal protective equipment.

  • The Public Health Department is providing information, guidance documents, and technical support to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, universities, colleges, and childcare facilities across California

  • The California Employee Development Department (EDD) is encouraging individuals who are unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 to file a Disability Insurance claim.

  • EDD is also encouraging employers who are experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the Coronavirus impact on the economy to apply for an Unemployment Insurance work sharing program.

  • The Public Health Department is coordinating with federal authorities and local health departments that have implemented screening, monitoring and, in some cases quarantine of returning travelers.

  • In coordination with the CDC, state and local health departments, we are actively responding to cases of COVID-19. 

  • The Public Health Department is supporting hospitals and local public health laboratories in the collection of specimens and testing for COVID-19.

The California Department of Public Health’s state laboratory in Richmond and 14 other public health department laboratories now have tests for the virus that causes COVID-19.

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