**NOTE: The following health information on the coronavirus is from the NYS Department of Health and NYS Education Department. Additional updates provided by the Tonawanda City School District.
A new coronavirus called 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first found in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This virus had not been found in humans before. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and trouble breathing or shortness of breath. There are currently thousands of newly diagnosed cases every day across the globe, including in the United States.
Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this new virus, so that we can better understand how it spreads and causes illness. The CDC considers this virus to be a serious public health concern.
Health experts believe the virus probably spreads from animals to humans and from person to person. It’s not clear yet how easily the virus spreads from person-to-person.
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recommends the following ways to minimize the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:
Wear a cloth face covering over your mouth and nose in public.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all non-essential travel.
Information to date suggests that COVID-19 causes mild-to-moderate illness and symptoms like the flu, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
If you feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing; OR you develop symptoms within 14 days of traveling, you should:
Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell them about any travel you may have recently done and your symptoms.
Avoid contact with others.
Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Contact your local health department.
This is an emerging, rapidly changing situation. For questions please contact the Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 Information Line at 716-858-2929 or the New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.