Current Pandemic

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus and we are learning more about it every day.  There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 [1].”  The CDC has labeled COVID-19 a serious public health threat.

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?  

In some cases, there are little to no symptoms, however, symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?  

It is believed that the virus spreads, much like the flu, through close contact (within 6 feet) with droplets from an infected person.  In addition, you may also acquire the virus by touching contaminated objects or surfaces then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Situation in the U.S.   

  • Imported cases of COVID-19 in travelers have been detected in the U.S.

  • Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 was first reported among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan.

  • During the week of February 23, CDC reported community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in California (in two places), Oregon and Washington. Community spread in Washington resulted in the first death in the United States from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case of COVID-19 in a health care worker, and the first potential outbreak in a long-term care facility.

  • The Texas Department of State Health Services report the first positive case of COVID-19 in Fort Bend County (near Houston).  Currently, the TX DSHS is monitoring 5 cases in Texas, all in the Houston area.  Three of the cases are presumptive positive while 2 cases are confirmed.

Current Cases in the United States 

Updated May 5, 2020                  

Total Cases: 1.22M

Total Deaths: 71,065

Jurisdictions reporting cases: 55

(50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)

* Data include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.

† Numbers updated Saturday and Sunday are not confirmed by state and territorial health departments. These numbers will be modified when numbers are updated on Monday.

  Countries With COVID-19 Cases     


Am I at Risk of Getting COVID-19?  

At this time the risk is generally low of getting sick from the virus, however, the situation is evolving rapidly [2] [3].  As of March 1, 2020, there are 19 cases of COVID -19 that have been tested and diagnosed in the United States.  There are an additional 44 cases that the State Department brought back to the United States which includes a number of patients in federal quarantine at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio [4].  These patients are not a risk to the general public.  The COVID-19 outbreak is being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the New Mexico Department of Health, your local public health department and by our team at GermBlast.  GermBlast will keep your district Administration updated.

What can I Do To Reduce My Risk of Getting Sick? 

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to that of influenza.  It is not too late to get your seasonal flu vaccine.  However, there is currently NO vaccine to protect against COVID-19.  The first method of defense against COVID-19 is to avoid exposure to the virus that causes it.  In addition, these are activities you should always do reduce risk of getting many illnesses.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds

  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands

  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands

  • Avoid close contact with others who are sick

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue then throw away immediately after

  • Frequently disinfect all touch surfaces and objects.

Resources : Texas Department of State Health Services – Stop the Spread of Germs English Spanish

What If I Think I May Have COVID-19?  

According to the CDC, if you have these symptoms and have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or have traveled from areas with widespread COVID-19 disease please CALL ahead to your doctor [5].

  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • Stay home except to get medical care

  • Separate yourself from other people and animals

  • Wear a face mask when you are around other people

  • Avoid sharing items with other people

  • Wash your hands often

  • Clean & disinfect touch-points and surfaces every day

Resources : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – What to do if you’re sick with Covid-19 English Spanish

What Resources Are Available If I Have More Questions Or Concerns?  

If you are not feeling well, you should contact your healthcare provider.

  1. CDC:

  2. Texas Department of State Health Services:

  3. GermBlast:

  4. School Administrators: Resources from the CDC Specifically for Childcare and K-12 institutions

You may also use your District Health Coordinator or School Nurse as a resource.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)," 16 February 2019. [Online]. Available:

  2. Texas Department of State Health Services, "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019)," 29 February 2019. [Online]. Available:

  3. New Mexico Department of Health, "Infectious Disease Epidemiology," 2019. [Online]. Available:

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Coronavirus Disease (COVID 2019)," 29 February 2019. [Online]. Available:

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "What to Do If You Are Sick With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)," 1 March 2019. [Online]. Available: