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Community Guide to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Introduction

People and organisations around the globe are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19”). Many organisations have activated preparedness plans and implemented measures to safeguard the wellbeing of the people they serve. 

As a school, our greatest priority is always focused on safety and well being of our school community. Using this site, we will continue to monitor the situation and update the community on the schools response and responsible actions we can all take to support a healthy school community. We encourage you to visit this page regularly to stay informed. 

Our status

The school continues to operate as per the normal school calendar and daily schedule. As a precaution the following measures have been implemented to safeguard the community and our core business – learning and teaching. The following measures have been implemented at this time as the first line of response. We need your help to safeguard each other.

  • Washing hands with soap and water remains a key priority to minimize the spread of any infection. The school has made more hand sanitizers available across its campus. For more on the latest advice, check the WHO website. Please spend time with your child actively showing and observing them washing hands properly. There are some great resources online, including child-friendly videos and hand washing protocols as published by the WHO . Your continued partnership with the school is critical and much appreciated. 
  • Cleaning and food services are constantly monitored
  • Self monitoring: We thank the LIS community for monitoring the well being of children before they come to school. Please keep your child/children at home if they are unwell. The school will continue to send students home if flu symptoms, including fever, are present. All LIS staff and service providers are also self-monitoring their health status. 
  • Return to school/work protocols implemented i.e. medical certificate(see details below).
  • We continue to monitor student and staff attendance to ensure our face to face delivery of programmes is sustainable. 
  • The school is reviewing its  learning continuity and Emergency Response Plans
  • Revised professional development travel for staff, school trips abroad

1. What is coronavirus?

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The Novel Coronavirus (recently renamed COVID-19) is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to other viruses like MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Coronaviruses commonly circulate in animals and sometimes also infect humans. As of January 30, person-to-person transmission was confirmed by CDC.

The latest research has determined an incubation period of five days, with a range of 2-14 days. Similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses, transmission of COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets exchanged among close contacts (those who interact with a person at a distance closer than about 6 feet). Details about the virus transmission are still being researched.

2. What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.

Having these symptoms alone does not mean that someone has the virus. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. According to the CDC, the greatest risk of infection is for individuals who have traveled to Wuhan China. These symptoms mimic flu-like symptoms and there are currently no specific treatments for 2019-nCoV. However, preventive measures for the 2019-nCoV are similar to other respiratory viruses such as the flu .

3. Are there confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Angola?

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As of today, there are no confirmed cases in Angola. The WHO is actively monitoring, reporting and updating their website with information on suspected and confirmed cases all over the world.

4. Is there a vaccine?

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There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

5. Are there ways to prevent contracting the virus?

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The CDC and the WHO recommends preventative actions to reduce the risk of developing the flu or other respiratory diseases, including:

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, stay home.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The school has made more hand sanitizers available across its campus. For more on the latest advice, check the WHO website.

6. What precautions is LIS taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

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The school continues to work with agencies and reach out to organizations to get a better read on the situation. WHO and CDC remain key sources of information for global matters. We are expanding our collaboration, particularly here in Angola, to better understand what is happening at the airport and the recently established quarantine facility.

For now, we encourage families to continue supporting children in the following ways:

  1. Washing hands with soap and water remains a key priority to minimize the spread of any infection. Please spend time with your child actively showing and observing them washing hands properly. There are some great resources online, including kid-friendly videos and hand washing protocols as published by the WHO . Your continued partnership with the school is critical and much appreciated.
  2. The school continues to provide sanitizer in various locations for students, staff, and parents. Some families have also provided personal sanitizer and hand wipes for their child as an extra precaution. This is very helpful and much appreciated.
  3. We thank the LIS community for monitoring the well being of children before they come to school. Please keep your child/children at home if they are unwell. The school will continue to send students home if flu symptoms, including fever, are present.
  4. Here at LIS, respect for ourselves and others, our environment, and our cultural contexts guide our thoughts, actions, and relationships. In line with this value, we continue to monitor our school health and hygiene practices for cleaning and food services. To help inform our plans and measures we have reached out to health care providers including ISOS for more information and support.

7. Can I still travel abroad during the next break?

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In most cases and to most countries, yes. In response to growing concerns over COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all nonessential travel to any country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice be suspended. At this time, this includes mainland China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.

Please be aware that from March 3, 2020, and while the COVID-19 epidemic lasts, all foreigners traveling from China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Nigeria, Egypt, and Algeria are prohibited from entering the national territory. The measures taken by the Angolan government are consistent with many other countries in response to heightened concerns about COVID-19. Please also refer to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website for more details about similar measures being implemented by other countries.