Phone: 213-487-0600

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Update

UPDATED March 15, 2020

Pursuant to Los Angeles County Superintendent’s recommendation to close all schools countywide to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise will be closed until further notice. Students will continue to be educated through distance learning until we reopen at a later date but not earlier than March 27.

The leadership at Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise has been monitoring the development of COVID-19 since before the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, teachers, and staff is our priority. As the number of cases continues to grow worldwide and locally, the United States, State of California, Los Angeles County, City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Unified School District have declared a state of emergency to help focus resources and provide more flexibility in responding to COVID-19.

LAAAE Actions

Because officials expect continued transmission nationally and locally, LAAAE is taking the following steps in an abundance of caution:

  • Students and employees are encouraged to practice social distancing and alternative forms of greeting and salutation.
  • Students and employees are encouraged to follow the recommendations listed below under How You Can Help.
  • Many LAAAE activities are being postponed at this time. This includes field trips, athletic events, and the following events: March’s PTO meeting (March 12), Family Progress Night (March 25), Family Fiesta (April 2), and Northern California College Trip (April 6-8).
  • Employee travel outside of greater Los Angeles will not be approved until further notice.

How You Can Help

To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, follow these important tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid traveling out of town and limit gathering in places where there are many people.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
  • The California Department of Public Health does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and states handwashing provides better protection from infectious diseases.
  • Because we know that the coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to 3 days and in the air for 3 hours, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health provides recommendations on cleaning at home in English and Spanish.

Surveillance

The number of cases and related deaths around the world, in the United States, California, and Los Angeles continue to increase. The Los Angeles Times reported that scientists believe that the actual number of coronavirus infections in the United States is likely much higher.  Worldwide surveillance is available from the World Health Organization and Worldometer. Surveillance for the United States and California is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, The San Francisco Chronicle, or Live Science. Note that report numbers will vary from website to website, depending on the last update included. Despite the increasing prevalence, the COVID-19 data indicates that less than 2% of cases have occurred in people under the age of 19 and no deaths have occurred in those younger than 10.

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and certain animals. The coronavirus is one of the viruses that causes the common cold. Thus, most people get infected with one of the known types of coronaviruses at some point in their life. Since coronaviruses can cause severe respiratory problems, the current concern is about a novel (new) coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted between certain animals and humans. SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19) is the third novel coronavirus to emerge in humans in the last two decades. The first was SARS-CoV discovered in 2003; the second was MERS-CoV discovered in 2012. SARS-CoV is thought to be an animal virus that started with bats which spread to civet cats and then humans. Human transmission of SARS-CoV ended in 2003. About 8,422 cases were reported, including 916 related deaths. The fatality rate was about 11%. MERS-CoV was transmitted to humans through contact with camels. Like SARS-CoV, it is believed that MERS-CoV originated in bats. As of January 2020, 2,519 cases of MERS-CoV have been reported, including 866 deaths. The fatality rate is about 34%. Recent reports are suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 may have also originated with bats, with the pangolin as the animal transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to humans. The fatality rate for COVID-19 is currently about 3.5%, significantly smaller than the two previously identified novel coronaviruses.

COVID-19 is short for COronaVIrus Disease which was discovered on December 31, 2019. This disease is caused by SARS-CoV-2 which is short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome COronaVirus 2. Before it was officially named SARS-CoV-2, the virus was also referred to as 2019-nCoV.)

School Closure Considerations

School closures have been used as a nonpharmaceutical intervention to control the spread of diseases in previous outbreaks and pandemics. (Other nonpharmaceutical interventions include quarantines, isolation, and prohibiting large gatherings of people.) UNESCO reports that globally, numerous countries have closed their schools nationwide. Other countries have localized closures.  Worldwide, COVID-19 is affecting over 1 billion learners.

The last pandemic happened in 2009 and was due to H1N1, also referred to as swine flu. H1N1 caused the closure of a class, grade, or entire school at about 15,000 schools worldwide and affected about 3,000 schools in the United States. If our school closes for COVID-19, it is possible that students may need to recover the days missed. In cities that are impacted by snow or hurricanes, for example, those students recover days missed during future holidays or by extending the school year. Note that California law authorizes the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide credit for instructional time in the case of a schoolwide closure based on a declaration of an epidemic made by a local public health officer. In California, many school districts and universities have temporarily closed and transitioned to digital learning.

School closure, even when temporary, may lead to community disruption with adverse effects being felt more by disadvantaged families. Beyond impacting academic development, school closure may impact access to free meals, which many of our students qualify for and are a key source of nutrition. Since loss of income may not be an option, parents may not be able to take time off work to stay at home with their child(ren). Thus, childcare becomes another concern. Should the authorities indicate that our school needs to close, it important that our students not gather elsewhere as this defeats the purpose of closure.

Closing Thoughts

Given that we have been hearing the coronavirus news for a few months, you may be sensing some anxiety or stress with the situation. These signs of stress are normal. During an infectious disease outbreak, it is important to take care of your mental health in addition to your physical health. To cope with emotional distress, you can manage your stress by staying informed, informing your family, connecting with your community, reaching out for help, and being sensitive to others. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health provides additional information in English and Spanish to help cope with stress related to infectious diseases.

COVID-19 does not discriminate based on nationality, ethnicity, or other reason. We are proud of our diverse school community and are certain that all stakeholders will continue to support one another during this time of uncertainty.  As always, we expect our students and staff to provide a welcoming environment for every student, family, and staff member.

We are facing a public health crisis that is unprecedented in recent memory. With communities and workers affected worldwide and the global supply chain impacted, we can anticipate other forms of disruption. We want to ensure that our school continues to work in partnership with our families to keep our community informed, prepared, and safe for the benefit for our students. Rest assured that we are actively monitoring the situation from different sources. Please stay tuned for our communications and our website for updated information and resources.

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Dear LAAAE Community / Querida comunidad de LAAAE,

This page will be updated as information is received from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, California Department of Health Services, County of Los Angeles Public Health, or Los Angeles Unified School District. /

Esta página se actualizará a medida que se reciba información de la Organización Mundial de Salud, los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades, el Departamento de Servicios de Salud de California, el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Los Ángeles, o el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles.

Kind regards / Saludos cordiales,

David Calvo
Principal / Director

English Español
Letter sent home – March 3, 2020 Carta enviada a casa – 3 de marzo del 2020
Stop the spread of germs
Distributed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Detenga la propagación de los microbios
Distribuido por los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades (CDC)
Symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019
Distributed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Sintomas de la enfermedad del coronavirus 2019
Distribuido por los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades (CDC)
What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Distributed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Lo que necesita saber sobre la enfermedad del coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
Distribuido por los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades (CDC)
What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Distributed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Que hacer si se contrae la enfermedad del coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
Distribuido por los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades (CDC)

Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
Distributed by NPR.

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