Resources for Students and Parents
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, SDCOE’s priority is to ensure that our students and parents stay informed and have the necessary resources and supports during this unprecedented time.
The County of San Diego, San Diego County Office of Education, and Rady Children’s Hospital recently formed a partnership to create a video to address parent questions about COVID-19 and reopening schools. The video includes presentations by Rady Children’s Hospital’s infectious disease physicians and other experts on symptoms, mitigation measures, and lessons learned from other countries’ reopening of schools and from the hospital’s experience treating COVID patients.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Because it is a new virus, scientists are learning more each day. Although most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death. Some groups, including older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk of severe illness.
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person
, including between people who are physically near each other (within about 6 feet). People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others. Cases of reinfection with COVID-19 have been reported but are rare. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes, but what is known includes the following and is detailed on the CDC's website
- COVID-19 spreads very easily from person to person
- COVID-19 most commonly spreads during close contact
- COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission
- COVID-19 spreads less commonly through contact with contaminated surfaces
- COVID-19 rarely spreads between people and animals
Symptoms to Watch For
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19. This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list
as they learn more about COVID-19.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain (possible symptom in children)
- Poor appetite or poor feeding (possible symptom in children)
General Prevention of the Virus
- Flu shot: Make sure all family members are up-to-date with their flu shots.
- Physical distancing: Stay 6 feet away from others
- Avoid crowds
- Promote basic hygiene:
- Any coughing or sneezing should be directed into ones sleeve (inside elbow), rather than into hands or the air.
- Wash hands after using and handling used tissues, after blowing nose, before/after eating, and after toilet use.
- Wash for 20 seconds with soap, rub between fingers and under nails; and then rinse and dry. (May use alcohol (60%+) hand gel if sinks are not readily available.)
- Avoid rubbing your own eyes, nose and mouth.
- Do not share utensils, cups etc.
- Stay home when sick.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick.
- Wear a mask/face covering
- Clean and disinfect
- Monitor your health daily
Visit the CDC for more guidance on how to protect yourself and others.
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Physical distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Face coverings must be used in accordance with CDPH guidelines unless a person is exempt as explained in the guidelines.
Students in all grade levels K-12 are required to wear face coverings at all times, while at school, unless exempted. A cloth face covering or face shield should be removed for meals, snacks, naptime, or when it needs to be replaced. When a cloth face covering is temporarily removed, it should be placed in a clean, safe area, clearly marked with the student’s name and date, until it needs to be put on again. Additional details are outlined in the most recent CDPH guidance for schools.
All staff must use face coverings in accordance with CDPH guidelines unless Cal/OSHA standards require respiratory protection. For staff who come into routine contact with others, CDPH recommends the use of disposable 3-ply surgical masks, which are more effective than cloth face coverings. In limited situations where a face covering cannot be used for pedagogical or developmental reasons, (e.g., communicating or assisting young children or those with special needs) a face shield with a drape (per CDPH guidelines) can be used instead of a face covering while in the classroom as long as the wearer maintains physical distance from others. Staff must return to wearing a face covering outside of the classroom.
Here are some considerations for wearing a face covering, and how to select, wear, and clean your mask.
Cleaning and disinfecting
It’s recommended that schools increase cleaning and disinfecting practices to reduce the spread of germs and protect against a potential COVID-19 outbreak. These practices may include:
- Suspending or modifying use of site resources that necessitate sharing or touching items, such as drinking fountains.
- Limiting use and sharing of objects and equipment, such as toys, games, art supplies, and playground equipment to the extent practicable. When shared use is allowed, items should be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
- Frequently touched surfaces at school and on school buses should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily. As practicable, these surfaces may be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day by trained custodial staff. Frequently touched surfaces in the school include, but are not limited to:
- Door handles
- Light switches
- Sink handles
- Bathroom surfaces
- Student desks
- Buses should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected daily and after transporting any individual who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Drivers should be provided disinfectant wipes and disposable gloves to support disinfection of frequently touched surfaces during the day.
- Disinfecting products used must be from those approved for use against COVID-19 on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved list “N” and follow product instructions.
- Products should be applied safely and correctly, and kept away from students.
- Cleaning and disinfecting should take place when students are not present. Introduce fresh air as much as possible to ensure proper ventilation. If using air conditioning, use the setting that brings in outside air.
Information on COVID-19 from Public Health
Guidance Documents for Schools
Healthy Meals for Students
Being at Home
Mental and Emotional Supports and Wellness
- 2-1-1: 2-1-1 connects people with San Diego county's more than 6,000 social services available. They offer support in housing and utilities, food assistance, enrollment services, military and veteran services, health, social, and disaster services. Assistance is free, confidential, available 24/7, and offered in more than 200 languages.
- Employment Development Department: Provides support services to workers impacted by the coronavirus and outlines what benefits they may qualify for.
- COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Californians from the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
Protecting Your Home
Discounts on Internet Service
Computers 2 Kids provides low cost refurbished computers to families in the San Diego area. If you need a computer at home, please contact call 858-200-9788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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