Austin ISD screening for coronavirus as precaution despite no suspected local cases

Austin ISD district staff began screenings for the coronavirus virus on Jan. 27. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD district staff began screenings for the coronavirus virus on Jan. 27. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin ISD district staff began screenings for the coronavirus virus on Jan. 27. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Despite no confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus in Austin ISD, the district announced Jan. 30 that it had begin using a screening protocol to “help catch anything that may develop in regard to coronavirus.”

The World Health Organization on Jan. 30 declared a global health emergency regarding the coronavirus, which has killed over 170 people this year. The virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, according to the WHO.


Symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia or the flu and can include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a message on AISD’s website, district staff began screenings Jan. 27 on students who have fevers and have traveled to China within the prior 14 days. The screening process used was developed by the CDC and modified for use in schools by Ascension/Seton, according to the message.

According to district rules about illnesses, all students and staff “must stay home if they have a fever of 100” degrees Fahrenheit and are not permitted to return to campus until they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


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