ST. CLOUD -- A local school district is prepping for a potential coronavirus outbreak.

Although the current risk to central Minnesotans is considered low, the St. Cloud Area School District is one of many in the state working to plan ahead.

Assistant Superintendent Laurie Putnam says they are working with multiple state and county agencies to form an action plan and to know when to put that plan in motion.

We coordinate and talk with the Minnesota Department of Health and also our Stearns County Public Health Department. We follow their lead. They are, of course, the experts. I know the Minnesota Department of Education is also coordinating closely with the Minnesota Department of Health and between those state entities they are providing guidance to school districts across the state.

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There have been around 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, none in Minnesota, but the Centers for Disease Control are warning that the outbreak is not a question of if, but of when.

Putnam says right now students, staff, and families should continue to practice good hygiene and prevention habits.

Right now what the Department of Health is recommending are the standard illness precaution measures that we would do for any virus, like influenza or a cold, and that's covering a cough, washing hands, and staying home when ill. Whether it's staff or students if you're showing any of those cough and cold symptoms then it's really important to stay home.

 

Over 80,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide with over 2,800 deaths. You can learn more about the district’s on-going response to the coronavirus by clicking on the link below: