Schools share plans to protect students, staff amid confirmed coronavirus cases in Fresno, Madera counties

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed over the weekend, the first in Madera county, the second in Fresno County.

Sunday, administrators from Fresno Unified, Clovis Unified and Fresno State shared updates on the steps they're taking in response to the cases.

RELATED: Health officials confirm first case of Coronavirus in Fresno County

The Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson says they are currently working on a contingency plan.

Nelson said the district will continue to educate its students about prevention.

"People are really wondering, are schools going to close? What is the impact? They are hearing stories that it's happening across our nation right now, but that is not the case in the Valley," the superintendent said.

Nelson said the first case of a novel coronavirus in Fresno County would not affect district operations.

Instead, they will be using it as a lesson for prevention.

"We want to make sure that we are training kids and using good education and that we are not doing anything that incites panic on behalf of the populous," he said.

Saturday night, the Fresno County Department of Public Health confirmed its first case of COVID-19.

Health officials say the isolated incident involved a man over the age of 65 who had recently returned from the Grand Princess Cruise ship.

The patient is currently in self-quarantine, along with all those who came in contact with him.

Doctors say the risk of spreading in the Central Valley still low.

"That person has to be really close while the patient is really sick and they have to have the real infection," said Fresno County health officer Rais Vorhs.

At Fresno State, the university says it does have a contingency plan in place to continue class and operations, should the outbreak become worse.

"When it comes to larger events on campus, those continue to be scheduled and we will continue to take the lead of the Fresno County Department of Health," said Fresno State Director of Communications Patti Wade.

RELATED: Madera County resident being treated for confirmed case of novel Coronavirus infection, in first known case in the area

The Clovis Unified School District is also advising parents on how they're reacting.

In an email addressed to staff and parents, the superintendent said they are disinfecting highly used surfaces, showing students videos on prevention and giving them extra time to wash their hands during their break.

The prevention measures are the same health officials recommend to the general public: Wash your hands, don't touch your face, sneeze into your arm, and stay home if you're sick.
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