L.A. County and Chino Valley School District officials communicated to parents about Coronavirus. In this L.A. Times photo, people shop at El Superior Market in El Monte, Calif. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Don Antonio Lugo High School

L.A. County and Chino Valley Unified School District release statements of Coronavirus prevention

As Coronavirus related deaths have risen, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus to be a “Global Health Emergency.”

More than 580 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China, and 63,851 in China, though the WHO continues to report lower numbers than Chinese officials, according to the L.A. Times.

Chino Valley Unified School District’s Board issued a statement to parents and guardians on Jan. 31 about the Coronavirus.

“The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health issued an update on Jan. 28 confirming no reported cases of the novel coronavirus in the San Bernardino County. To date, there have been five confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. including two in California — one in L.A. County and one in Orange County,” the statement read.

CVUSD explained to parents that the following proactive measures have been put in place to address the novel coronavirus and all respiratory illnesses:
1. Placing posters in highly visible areas at schools promoting good health. Placing posters in highly visible areas at schools promoting good health practices.

2. Promoting hand-washing among students and staff throughout all sites and avoiding the touching of nose, mouth, and eyes.

3. Encouraging parents to keep their students home when sick. Students can return to school when they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

4. Continuing standard cleaning practices at school sites.

The school district also reported that they are working closely with public health officials for current updates and guidance.

Congresswoman Norma Torres, of the 35th district, released a statement in an email to San Bernardino residents.

“The well-being of our Inland Empire is very important to me. With two confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in Southern California, I want to make sure you have adequate information to stay safe and healthy,” Congresswoman Torres wrote.

Approximately 12 miles away from the city of Chino, Torres addressed the 14-day quarantine of passengers on a flight from Wuhan, China to Ontario International Airport that took place last week in which she explained, “This week, a flight from Wuhan, China was diverted from its original destination of Ontario International Airport to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California.  The passengers on that flight are now under a 14-day quarantine.” She has diverted any other inquiries about the incident to her website where she is now requesting an investigation into the coronavirus flight.

With the first cases emerging in the United States, people are wondering, why is this happening? Scientists and doctors don’t have a specific clue where the strand of Coronavirus originated, though the most likely candidate is from the illegal animal market in China; specifically from the consumption of bats.

Bats are known to carry diseases like SARS and other Coronavirus strands.

Researchers at Journal Nature Research reported, “Since the SARS outbreak 18 years ago, a large number of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoV) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats.”

Previous studies indicated that some of those bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans. The identification and characterization of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China is considered responsible for the epidemic, which started in December 2019 and has reportedly caused 2,050 laboratory-confirmed infections with 56 fatal cases as of 26 January 2020.”

Furthermore, Journal Nature Researchers explained, “Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at the early stage of the outbreak. They are almost identical to each other and share 79.5% sequence identify to SARS-CoV…it was found that 2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus.”

It is likely, the virus originated in health violations regarding human-bat contact, eating unprepared bats from a boiling water pot of which, caused the Coronavirus outbreak.