Coronavirus: San Mateo County School District to update COVID-19 pandemic plan

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Parents of school-age children say they're hungry for guidance on what to do to keep their children safe from COVID-19, as more cases develop in the Bay Area.

"The community has questions," said parent Jennifer Liu. "When the public has questions, it's incumbent on the organization to have the proactive answers."

School districts on the Peninsula and in San Jose have been sending parent recommendations from county health officers, but internally, school leaders are also working on their own action plans.

San Mateo County school superintendent Nancy Magee said coronavirus was an important agenda item at the monthly meeting of local superintendents from 23 districts. A pandemic plan for the H1N1 (swine flu) virus is being updated.

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"That was maybe 10 years ago," said Superintendent Magee, "so we want to go through the plan and insure that we now have many more opportunities for remote learning for students and different kinds of transportation, remote work environments for staff."

While the coronavirus risk is still considered low, contingency plans are also being reviewed in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.

"It would likely be something that would happen across the entire county because we do know that, as we've seen in other countries, when you isolate or stop everybody's regular flow, that it helps to slow down the spread," said Superintendent Magee.

The plan calls for sick children to be sent home. Parents would be advised to contact their health providers.

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Testing of suspected cases of coronavirus is expected to go faster. The CDC says its goal is to have new test kits in the hands of local and state health agencies across the country by this time next week.

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