Passengers wear masks to prevent an outbreak of a new coronavirus in the high speed train station, in Hong Kong, on Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Langley School District issues letter to parents addressing coronavirus

District has been advised that the risk to the public, including school-age children, is very low

A letter addressing the coronavirus was sent home with Langley students on Monday, sharing tips and key contact numbers to call should parents have any questions on how the outbreak could effect their children.

With recent news about the coronavirus, you or members of your family may have some questions or concerns. As always, the Langley School District continues to follow proper health and safety precautions to ensure the well being of students and staff and takes direction from the Fraser Health Authority, the statement read.

If you have questions on this matter please call 8-1-1 or visit BC Centre for Disease Control website on novel coronavirus for further information.

Fraser Health shared information with the Langley School District, which was incorporated into the letter.

Fraser Health Medical Health Officers are monitoring reports of the novel coronavirus (named 2019-nCoV), first identified in Wuhan, China. While there have been cases identified outside of China, all of these individuals are known to have recent travel associated with the Wuhan area.

Currently, there are no cases in British Columbia (Statement from Government of BC). Public Health officials are working together to ensure that any unusual illness in arriving travellers is being appropriately screened. Physicians have also been requested to notify Public Health of any illness of concern in patients who were recently in the Wuhan area.

The School District has been advised that the risk to the general public, including school-age children, is very low. Medical Health Officers continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide further advice and information as it becomes available.

At this time, initial reports indicate that, similar to influenza, this virus may be spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes. The vast majority of reported cases only experience mild symptoms and are well enough to stay home. As with influenza, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe disease and require hospitalization.

In the meantime, we would remind everyone to follow proper hygiene etiquette during the cold and flu season. This includes proper handwashing with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick.

READ MORE: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

The letter was signed and issued by Gord Stewart, Superintendent of schools.

Furthermore, Joanne Abshire, communications manager for the school district, said the letter was sent home with every student in the Langley School District.

She added that more details will be shared, should new developments arise.

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