Important Information Regarding the Coronavirus

  • Craven County Schools is closely monitoring the global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). While there currently are no known cases in Craven County, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19(Coronavirus). The situation is changing rapidly so we will provide updates when new information or guidance from federal, state and local authorities needs to be communicated. 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that Americans should be anticipating and preparing for the possibility of widespread COVID-19 in the United States. Since late January, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and NC Emergency Management (NCEM) have been operating a team to coordinate efforts around the state’s response. In early February, Governor Cooper formalized this effort with the creation of the COVID-19 Task Force.

    The Governor’s Task Force has shared the following measures that all North Carolinians can take to prepare for potential widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the state:

    Updated Information- Thursday, March 12, 2020.

    Due to the most recent recommendation from the Governor, the following activities have been postponed until further notice to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus: 

    • All In-County Field Trips
    • Elementary Battle of the Books- March 13, 2020
    • Kindergarten Ready, Set, Go Meetings -March 16th & March 24, 2020
    • Craven LIVE Recruitment Evenings- March 16th & March 17, 2020
    • Kindergarten Registration- March 17, 2020 (JT Barber Elementary) & April 2, 2020 (all other elementary schools)
    • All-County Honors Band Concert-March 26, 2020
    • All-County Honor Chorus Performance April 6, 2020
    • Spring Art Reception- April 7, 2020
    • All School-Based Assemblies & Concerts
    • Athletics-The N.C. High School Athletic Association will suspend all high school athletics statewide as concerns over the coronavirus grow. The suspension of athletics will be effective at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 13th and last through April 6, 2020. It includes all games, practices, workouts, and skill development sessions. In alignment with this decision, Craven County Schools will also cancel all middle school athletics following the same restrictions.

    We recognize that these decisions to cancel or limit activities may be disappointing to some; however, our decisions are being made with the guidance of state officials, in an abundance of caution for our students and staff, and with the care and consideration of our community and neighbors in mind.

    As indicated by our local, state, and national news, this is a rapidly changing situation. We want to ensure that our parents, employees and students are informed with accurate information.

    Individuals, Families, and Communities

    NCDHHS recommends everyone continue taking precautions to protect themselves and others from the spread of respiratory illnesses, which includes COVID-19.

    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    •  Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
    • It is also good practice to start being more aware of the number of times a day your hands touch an object or hard surface and then touch your face without being washed. Limiting the exposure of your nose, mouth, and eyes to unwashed hands can help to protect from the spread of all germs and illnesses.
    • Have a plan in case you need to miss work or other responsibilities due to personal illness or to care for a sick family member.
    • For pregnant women and children, review the information and guidance available on the CDC website.

    The North Carolina Health Department has provided updated information about COVID-19 for the Community. The most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 outbreak can also be found on the CDC Website.

    Currently, the CDC has issued a travel warning for China and South Korea to avoid all non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The CDC has also provided guidance to travelers and information regarding other destinations with apparent community spread. This information is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

    Craven County Schools is in close contact with the Craven County Health Department and will be discussing and planning for the possibility of additional steps if the situation changes. Our Craven County Schools families, staff, students and community members are reminded to take precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  Thank you for helping to protect our community.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    What is Coronavirus?

    There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild

    upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. As the name indicates, the virus is related to the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, however, it is not the same virus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19.

    What are the symptoms of Coronavirus, also called CoVID-19?

    There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. As the name indicates, the virus is related to the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, however, it is not the same virus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Symptoms are similar to the flu and typically cause mild to moderate respiratory illness. Common symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

    How is COVID-19 spread?

    According to the CDC, this virus likely emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

    • The air by coughing and sneezing
    • Close personal contact, including touching and shaking hands
    • Touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands.

    What is the treatment for COVID-19?

    There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, there are some things you can do to relieve your symptoms, including:

    • Taking OTC pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children)
    • Using a humidifier or taking a hot shower to ease a sore throat and cough
    • Drinking plenty of liquids and stay home and rest.

    How can I protect myself and my family?

    The steps to preventing coronavirus transmission are similar to the steps to preventing other respiratory illnesses, like the flu. These include:

    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are ill. Maintain at least 6 feet of space.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough/sneeze into your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
    • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
    • Stay home when you are sick. Do not go to work or school until you or your family member is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.

     The actions listed above will also protect people against influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other respiratory infections that are common in North Carolina and the U.S. this time of year. 

    What should I do if I think I have been exposed to CoVID-19?

    • Contact your healthcare provider by phone and provide them with as much information as possible. Have you traveled to a country where CoVID-19 is spreading in the last 14 days? Have you come in contact with someone who has traveled to a country where CoVID-19 is spreading in the last 14 days and now has symptoms? Have you been exposed to someone diagnosed with or under investigation for the virus? Do you have fever, cough or difficulty breathing?
    • Stay home unless you are directed to do otherwise by a healthcare provider. Separate yourself from other family members, preferably in a separate room. Maintain good ventilation in the home, opening windows periodically, if weather permits.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands frequently, clean and disinfect hard surfaces frequently. Do not share household objects with others. Do not handle or care for pets.
    • Wear a mask if you must go near others or must go outside to seek medical care.
    • If you get sicker and need to call EMS, notify them of your symptoms and put on a mask before they enter your home.

    What are schools doing to prevent the spread of CoVID-19?

    • Monitoring absenteeism of students and staff as we routinely do during flu season.
    • Encouraging proper hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette through ongoing education and the provision of supplies.
    • Sending home staff and students who are ill.
    • Encouraging staff and students who are sick to remain at home until fever- and symptom-free without medication for 24 hours before returning.
    • Performing routine environmental cleaning with products that cover a broad spectrum of pathogens.
    • School health personnel are working closely with the Craven County Health Department and the NC Dept. of Public Health to plan and prepare for possible cases of CoVID-19.

    What steps is the military taking to prevent the spread of CoVID-19?

    The DoD is monitoring personnel stationed in other countries as well as those returning to the U.S.  They have plans in place to address the medical needs of DoD staff around the globe and here in the U.S. 

    Does CDC recommend the use of facemask in the community to prevent COVID-19?

    CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.

    Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?

    People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.

    Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

    Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.

    Who can I contact for questions?

    The North Carolina Division of Public Health has established a call line at 1-866-462-3821 to address general questions about coronavirus from the public.

    Corona Virus Cases Worldwide: John's Hopkins

Sources of Accurate Information