(via the Illinois Federation of Teachers)
The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is having worldwide implications. Here in the U.S., 100 cases have been confirmed in 15 states, including four in Illinois. Symptoms include fever and lower respiratory illness – cough and difficulty breathing – resulting in pneumonia. Early information indicates that those age 60 and older and those with underlying illness are at higher risk of severe symptoms and even death. Notably, Illinois has taken a proactive approach to the virus and was the first state to test for it. The IFT and AFT want you to be informed and prepared in the event coronavirus directly impacts you. Most importantly, we want you to know how to prevent the infection and spread in your home, school or office. To prevent catching or sharing the virus, the Illinois Department of Public Health recommends:
wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; and
avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Use common sense – visit a doctor when you are ill and stay home to avoid spreading germs to others. If you have questions about coronavirus-related issues in your workplace, contact your local, council or chapter president or IFT field service director. Here are some links to other helpful information about COVID-19: AFT resources Resources on the coronavirus Educators and school support staff bulletin Higher education faculty and staff bulletin Public employees bulletin Share My Lesson: Coronavirus lesson plans and classroom resources Illinois Department of Public Health Centers for Disease Control (CDC) World Health Organization (WHO)