EPISD continues to work with local, state and federal health officials in monitoring and responding to the recent health issues surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The health of students and employees is a top priority for the District and our health officials are in communication with the City of El Paso Department of Public Health, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While health officials believe the risk to schools in our area is low, EPISD wants to reassure the El Paso community that the matter is being monitored closely.
The District is currently following the recommendations from health officials to protect against coronavirus in the same way the District protects against the spread of respiratory illnesses like the flu. This includes extensive treatment using systems like GermBlast and EMIST — two services that spray solutions aimed at disinfecting campuses and offices.
Parents are urged to talk to their children about COVID-19 and what they can do to prevent infection. The information below is from the city’s public health department:
How do people become infected with COVID-19?
Human COVID-19 (coronaviruses) most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands; and
- Rarely, fecal contamination.
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of coughing, shortness of breath and fever.
How can I avoid COVID-19 infection?
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to the virus, which are similar to the precautions to avoid exposure to the flu. CDC recommends these every-day actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- 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.
- Avoid touching your eye, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For updated information on COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or call the City of El Paso Public Health Department at 212-0200.
If traveling to any countries with Level 3 Travel Health Notices, Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance calls for staying home for 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) and practice social distancing. The CDC recommends the following steps for individuals who have traveled to Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries and areas in the U.S. affected by COVID-19:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
- Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
- Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
- Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet).
*Source: Texas Education Agency
The El Paso Independent School District in partnership with Virtual Care for Kids will begin administering COVID-19 testing at its Burnet health site starting on Friday, the Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday.