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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Q: What is the current situation with COVID-19?
A: While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now expect community spread in some
parts of the U.S., the immediate threat to the U.S. remains low. We are not seeing the same level of
spread other countries are seeing. That said, it is important to be prepared.

Q: Are there any confirmed cases in Louisiana?
A: There are no confirmed cases in Louisiana.

Q: How will we know if there are any confirmed cases in Louisiana?
A: The Louisiana Department of Health in coordination with the Governor’s office will issue a press
release to confirm any cases in Louisiana.

Q: What symptoms are associated with COVID-19?
A: The most commonly-known symptoms associated with COVID-19 include: fever (83-98%), cough
(76-82%), and shortness of breath/difficulty breathing (11-44%). Less commonly-exhibited symptoms
include nausea, diarrhea, and sputum production.

Q: Can an individual showing potential symptoms of COVID-19 be tested in Louisiana?
A: Yes. Healthcare providers, such as hospitals, have the capacity to determine individuals in need of

Q: What preventative actions can be taken?
A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Health recommend
protecting yourself and students in your care by taking some basic precautions:
● Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not
available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
● Stay home when you are sick.
● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
● Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
● If you think you are sick, consult your healthcare provider.

Q: What is the protocol in place if students experience symptoms associated with COVID-19?
A: If a student exhibits symptoms associated with COVID-19, the student’s parent or legal custodian
should be advised. School systems should encourage parents or custodians to consult healthcare
professionals as soon as possible.

Q: What preventative actions can staff take within school buildings?
A: Staff are encouraged to implement cleaning practices of the following areas:
● Door handles, crash bars, doorknobs
● Entry windows
● Office counters and surfaces
● Handrails
● Sinks and drinking fountains
● Dispensers
● Desks, tables
● Bathrooms
● Anything else that is handled frequently by multiple students and staff

Q: Should schools be closed in response to concerns about COVID-19?
A: While there are no reported diagnoses in Louisiana as of March 3, in the event of an outbreak in a
given community, school system leaders may consider closing schools in order to prevent further
spread. As with any threat to student and faculty safety, such steps should be taken in consultation with
medical experts and local governmental leaders. In the meantime, we ask that you help by following the
precautions regarding staff and students.

Q: If schools have to be closed due to concerns about COVID-19, will there be alternate plans made for
testing or other state-wide policies?
A: As with past events, such as hurricanes and floods, the Department of Education will address these
issues on a case-by-case basis and will make accommodations, as appropriate. Please route concerns to
your school system’s network leader.

Q: Should individuals and families have a plan if an outbreak occurs?
A: There are actions we all can take as individuals to be prepared for COVID-19. The same actions you
take to prevent the spread of flu put you in a good position for addressing any respiratory illness – cover
your cough, wash your hands (especially after being in public spaces, shaking hands), stay home if you
are sick, and get your flu shot. Individuals and families should also monitor the CDC COVID-19 website,
as well as the Louisiana Department of Health website, for additional information, including updated
travel advisories before making plans to travel internationally.

Q: Where can we find more information about COVID-19?
A: If you have questions about Coronavirus, please contact the Louisiana Office of Public Health at
1-855-523-2652 from 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The CDC COVID-19 website, as well
as the Louisiana Department of Health website, are also helpful resources.