LocationAlhambra , CA
While residents of the San Gabriel Valley continue to be concerned over the coronavirus outbreak that started in China, there are still no reported cases in the San Gabriel Valley. Just 11 cases have been reported in the United States and those involve persons who have recently traveled to China and, in two cases, transmitted the virus to their spouses. Many of those who have the virus in the U.S. seem to be recovering.
Officials from Centers for Disease Control, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the Alhambra Unified School District have gone to great lengths to reassure parents and students that schools are safe and, at present, there is no coronavirus threat at the 21 school sites that make up the Alhambra district. Flu is a much greater threat, the agencies all say. The Alhambra Unified School District, which includes students from Alhambra, San Gabriel, Monterey Park and Rosemead, has more than 16,500 students.
Nevertheless, a petition on change.org has been rapidly gaining ground urging the district to suspend classes on all campus until the outbreak is deemed over. Much of the petition focuses on the spread of the disease outside the United States. “Although the chances of infection are low, they are not ZERO and we must be prepared and cautious for what might come,” the petition reads. As of publication time, it appears the petition has over 14,000 unverified signatures but it is not immediately clear how many of these are from AUSD students, their families or residents of the San Gabriel Valley.
Many of the signatures voice public health concerns but others who have signed write that they are doing so to get out of classes or for or any number of reasons that have less to do with public health than peer pressure. Some appear to have signed in jest.
“Schools are safe, schools are open and we are following every fact and science-based guideline of the CDC, the LA County Department of Public Health and LACOE,” said Denise R. Jaramillo, the AUSD superintendent Jaramillo also said a student-spread rumor that the district had banned the use of face masks was in error. The district has not banned face masks but does not recommend them because such masks have been deemed ineffective in preventing illness as advised by the CDC.
Please visit www.ausd.us to see our Alhambra Unified School District Guidelines for coronavirus and visit the Los Angles County Department of Public Health http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ to learn more about coronavirus.
Our previous reporting:
For more information on the coronavirus, flu and resources visit our Stay Healthy page.