School District Email Brings Attention to Coronavirus Outbreak

On Monday, Feb. 10, an email was sent out regarding COVID-19. 


On Monday, Feb. 10, the Iowa City Community School District sent out an email to staff and parents regarding the recent coronavirus outbreak. 

“The Iowa City Community School District has been working closely with Johnson Co. Public Health (JCPH) in regards to the Coronavirus outbreak in China,” the email read. 

The virus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), originated in Wuhan, China and has spread exponentially to 26 countries as of Feb. 12. Over 45,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide, reporting approximately 1,000 deaths and 4,000 recoveries. As of Feb. 11, there are 13 confirmed cases in the United States (Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, and Wisconsin).

“With 99% of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world,” said WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ph.D., during a press conference on Feb. 11.

According to Tedros, a vaccine for the virus could be available in 18 months. Until then, the United States is taking precautions by evaluating and quarantining all travelers from China.

According to the JCPH, the current risk of Iowans contracting the virus is low.

“The CDC and JCPH do not recommend wearing surgical masks,” wrote JCPH director Dave Koch in a document of information attached to the email. “You and your child may continue with normal daily activities without worry at this time.”

World Health Organization

While Iowans currently have a low risk of contracting the virus, it is not out of the realm of possibility. On Feb. 5, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported two Iowans were being tested for the coronavirus after traveling to China. It was announced five days later on Feb. 10 that they had tested negative.

Should anyone become infected, help can be sought at local hospitals.

“Local hospitals are prepared to care for any persons who may become ill if they require such medical services,” wrote Koch.

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