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School districts and South Florida universities being pro-active on coronavirus

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Posted at 9:54 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 06:09:22-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus here in Florida, but that hasn't stopped school districts from universities in the area from doing their part to help prevent the spread of the virus.

MORE: FAU, FIU suspending some study abroad programs over coronavirus | Tips on how to prevent catching, spreading coronavirus

Yusho Qinga is a student at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. His parents are back in China, so he's been mindful of what's going on.

"I think this is not a problem in South Asia it's a world problem," he said.

FAU has suspended its education abroad programs for both China and South Korea. Florida International University has stopped all travel with the university to South Korea, Italy, Singapore and Japan.

"We are placing hand sanitizers at the entrance of the school, departure, and areas of large congregations," Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

In the state's largest school district, Miami-Dade officials are ready to implement a coronavirus plan.

"If we have to shut down a school for any reason and that's a measure of last resort. Or isolate classrooms of students where they would have to stay home we are able to empower those students and families with devices with digital content so their education continues," Carvalho said.

Palm Beach County Schools say they are monitoring developments and reviewing response plans.

Yusho says he's thankful for being in Florida. For now, he has no plans to head home anytime soon.

St. Lucie County Public Schools spokeswoman Lydia Martin released the following statement Thursday:

"St. Lucie Public Schools is working with our community response partners, including the St. Lucie County Health Department on developing a plan, should St. Lucie County be impacted by the coronavirus."

Martin County School District spokeswoman Jennifer DeShazo released the statement below:

“The Martin County School District partners with the Florida Department of Health in Martin County to monitor and contain the spread of illness in our schools. The Health Department, which also employs all of our school nurses, works very closely with the CDC and provides us with continuous updates and action plans whenever there is a potential threat to public health. We stand ready to implement any and all procedures they recommend."

Indian River County schools released the following statement on Friday and also said a flyer was shared with administrators regarding coronavirus.

Our District has received information from the Health Department and our Health Coordinator and Coordinator of Custodial Services have passed it on to our principals and administrators. School will receive guidance as to how to approach conversations with students and parents regarding coronavirus and their health safety. Regular cleaning schedules are continuing in schools with hospital grade disinfectants, and our state of the art cleaning technology, daily.

Okeechobee County schools said Friday they shared the following information with principals regarding the virus:

Continue with the same precautions as with the flu. The school nurses have also been giving handwashing education all this month in the schools along with flu prevention, and the health department will continue to have them do so. There are no directives in place specifically regarding coronavirus, at this time. Just continue taking precautions as you would the flu.