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FCPS, County Health Officials Prepare for Potential Coronavirus Outbreak

Fairfax County’s public schools are preparing for a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.

In a message sent to parents and staff Wednesday evening, FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand said the school system is reviewing and revising its existing flu response plan to respond to the coronavirus. Currently, there are no confirmed cases in the county.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directed school officials, childcare centers and workplaces to prepare for a possible outbreak.

Here’s more from Brabrand’s letter:

The plan is dynamic and sections will be revised and updated as new information becomes available. FCPS’s response plan addresses the specific activities necessary to keep schools open and operating while providing a clean and safe environment during an outbreak and the essential functions that must be performed by FCPS, if schools are closed.

Other variations of these scenarios could also be considered.  While the full impact of an outbreak cannot be predicted, planning for operations under such conditions can mitigate the impact of the event on our staff, facilities and mission. 

We recognize the growing concern about the possible spread of coronavirus to our region. To date, we have cancelled international field trips and short-term visitations to and from some countries, based on CDC guidelines. We have also updated our web page and will continue to work closely with health officials and monitor this evolving situation. Additional information is available at this link: https://www.fcps.edu/news/coronavirus-update. This link will be updated as we receive new information.

As a reminder, common cold and flu viruses are not unusual during the winter season. Precautions are recommended. We ask that everyone do their part to stay healthy. Wash hands frequently, monitor your health, and stay home when ill.

FCPS recently suspended international field trips and short-term visits to and from countries flagged by the CDC. The temporary suspension is valid through June 30.

Governments around the world are ramping up measures to battle what could be a looming global pandemic. So far, the virus has infected more than 80,000 people and killed nearly 2,800 individuals.

“FCPS will continue to monitor recommendations and information from the CDC and make any necessary changes based on updated information,” according to FCPS.

Additionally, the Fairfax County Health Department is working with FCPS, along with federal, state and local public health and safety partners, FCPS said.

This story was written by Fatimah Waseem and Catherine Douglas Moran. It also appeared on our sister site Reston Now.

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