Sonoma County Office of Education

SCOE Partners With Department of Health Services to Issue Guidance to Schools Regarding Coronavirus

02/05/2020 -

The Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) has partnered with the Sonoma County Department of Health Services to provide proactive guidance to schools regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, SCOE distributed to school districts a letter from County Health Officer Celeste Philip notifying schools that any child or staff member who recently traveled from China should stay home from school and school activities for 14 days after they left China. This followed a Feb. 4 in-person meeting at SCOE, in which Dr. Philip shared this guidance with school district superintendents. She also provided updates on the spread of the illness and best practices for preventing the spread of any infectious disease during cold and flu season. This direction was based on a recommendation from the California Department of Public Health, which released its final guidance document (attached) on February 7, 2020.

Access the letter: English | Spanish

“At this time, there is low risk to residents of California from novel coronavirus, but schools can take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases,” Dr. Philip’s letter notes. “These precautions will also be helpful to prevent the spread of other common illness such as influenza and gastroenteritis.”

“While the risk of novel coronavirus to Sonoma County residents and schools is still very low, we wanted to take a proactive approach to informing our school communities about best practices,” said Steve Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools. Tips for staying healthy and preventing the spread of infectious disease can be found in Dr. Philip’s letter, available in English and Spanish. Dr. Philip also noted that the response to coronavirus is evolving quickly, and that experts are learning more daily. Information and updates on coronavirus can be found at