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Corona Virus Update

Information for schools and colleges – Novel Coronavirus 2019 n-CoV

The following information has been prepared for schools and colleges to share with parents and carers who may be concerned about the virus and require further information about how to protect themselves and others.

There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend school or post 16 education as normal unless they have travelled to Mainland China in the last two weeks.

For people who have travelled to Mainland China in the last two weeks – we are asking these people to self-isolate at home. For more information on self-isolation, please see

Guernsey’s Director of Public Health Services has been working with health professionals and colleagues to ensure the Island’s preparedness for a possible public health emergency in the light of the global issues regarding the novel coronavirus 2019 n-CoV.

Guernsey has been following the situation closely as it develops globally and has been taking advice from Public Health England.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. Some infect people and are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe pneumonia.

Who can catch the virus?

People living or travelling in an area where the 2019-nCoV virus is circulating may be at risk of infection. At present, 2019-nCoV is circulating in China where the vast majority of people infected have been reported. Those infected from other countries have been in contact with people who have recently travelled from China or who have been living or working closely with those travellers (family members, co-workers or medical professionals caring for a patient before they knew the patient was infected with 2019-nCoV. )

How does the virus spread?

The routes of transmission or incubation period of 2019-nCoV are not fully clear yet, however, other coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. In addition to respiratory secretions, other coronaviruses have been detected in blood, faeces and urine



What can I do to protect myself and others?

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.

Why? Washing your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water kills the virus if it is on your hands.

  • Maintain social distancing – maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.

Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

  • Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, and bin the tissue

Why? Basic hygiene such as washing our hands regularly and using tissues when we cough and sneeze can play an important role in minimising the spread of viruses like this.


For further information please go to


Public Health Services

6 February 2020