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Coronavirus: What You Need To Know

UPDATE as of 3/13/20:

Due to the County Health Order regarding the dismissal of students, all Sequoia Union High School District schools will transition to At Home/Distance Learning, effective Monday, March 16th through April 3rd. If it is determined that we cannot resume our normal schedule on Monday, April 6th, we will notify families by Friday, April 3rd. 
Click here to view the SUHSD At-Home Distance Learning Plan for students.

The Sequoia Union High School District continues to work closely with the San Mateo County Health Department and the County Office of Education in monitoring the COVID-19 situation. Please read below for more information. Future updates will be posted here. 


What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Per the CDC, the "Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China

How does COVID-19 spread?

Per the San Mateo Health Department, "The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. See How Coronavirus Spreads."

Other COVID-19 Facts

  • Children and youth have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus
  • 80% of coronavirus cases are mild that mimic symptoms such as the common cold or flu  
  • You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms


Travel Guidelines

Per the California  Department of Public Health: "The risk of exposure to this new coronavirus in China is increasing over time. Consistent with CDC guidance on returning travelers from China, local health departments are communicating with travelers returning from mainland China to provide guidance about limiting public interactions for 14 days. 
Travelers from mainland China arriving in the United States since February 3, 2020 should be excluded from school for 14 days, beginning the day after they left China."

What precautionary measures can I take to help avoid contracting COVID-19?

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
It is also recommended to:
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional
  • Get vaccinated every year
  • Stop shaking hands

The California Department of Public Health does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and says that handwashing provides much better protection from infectious diseases.

What precautionary measures is SUHSD making to ensure schools remain a safe and healthy learning environment?

On all our school campuses, we continue to be vigilant in cleaning common areas to minimize the spread of germs such as:
  • Bathrooms
  • Water faucets
  • Doorknobs
  • Classrooms
  • Athletic equipment
  • Cafeteria
  • Computers
The District is using disinfecting equipment and has supplied sites with disinfecting medical grade wipes and additional hand sanitizer.
We also provide staff and students with regular reminders about staying home when sick and following sound hygiene and health practices as listed above.

Will schools close?

The County Public Health Department is not recommending closing schools at this time. If a student or staff member is confirmed to have COVID-19, the District, in collaboration with the health department, will consider closures based on the given facts and circumstances of the case(s). The District will notify parents if there is a need to close a school.

Should my student stay at home?

If your student exhibits cold/flu-like symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat and/or respiratory symptoms (such as shortness of breath, sneezing, etc.), they should stay home. Parents should also seek advice from their doctor if their child has immune deficiencies or other health complications.
We are encouraging all families with any concerns for student health or any risk factors to keep their students at home. We are actively putting invigorated systems in place to allow students to continue to progress in their studies while they are absent from the classroom. These absences will be excused. 
Makeup work will be provided on an ongoing basis through a variety of platforms. Parents and students can request classroom assignments and dialog with their teachers and counselors through a variety of formats: email, voicemail, CANVAS [our state of the art learning management system] or visiting their school site front office for assignments.

What events or activities will be canceled?

In consultation with the San Mateo County Health Department and districtwide leadership, the following non-essential gatherings are suspended immediately through April 2020 [for events that are able to be postponed or highly modified in format, please look for new dates published at your school site]:
  • Large gatherings of more than 50 people have been canceled
    • Conferences
    • Dances
    • Concerts
    • Assemblies 
    • Performing arts events
    • Club/academic events/competitions
    • Open Houses
    • Foundation/PTSA Meetings/CLAC/Parent Education Series/Boosters
    • Fundraisers
  • Field trips
    • All field trips outside of the Bay Area
    • All field trips of 50 people or more
    • All field trips to indoor locations
    • Any new field trips
  • All facility rentals/usage held by outside groups
  • All athletic sports
    • Teams may continue to practice and participating athletes will remain eligible for academic credit
At this time, all other activities will continue as normal. Any changes to this list will be communicated out immediately.

Are absences considered excused or unexcused?

Attendance guidelines are set by the California Education Code. If your student is sick, their absences are “excused.”
Normally, a concern about “possibly” getting sick is not an excused absence, but the office of the superintendent is invoking its administrative discretion districtwide under California Education Code 48205.a.11 and 48260.c.

Distance/At Home Learning 

SUHSD is preparing in the event we are provided direction for school dismissal. In the event that occurs, we are working to expand capacity to meet all students’ needs. 
  • Refresh staff on our online learning management system [CANVAS] to provide lesson plans, homework assignments and assessments
  • Provide Chromebooks to students who do not have access to a device at home
  • Provide wireless hot spots to students that do not have internet access at home

Call Center 

The San Mateo County opened a public call center for non-medical questions about the virus yesterday that will operate from 7:00am - 7:00pm, Monday through Friday. The contact number is 211, feel free to call with any questions or concerns.

Superintendent's Messages

Click here to view all COVID-19 related messages sent by the Superintendent to the SUHSD community. 

What to do if you are sick with COVID-19?

The following is recommended by the CDC:
  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean your hands often
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
  • Monitor your symptoms
For more information, click here.

For more information:

Current information about the coronavirus is available on the following websites: