Pasco schools prepare for coronavirus, but flu is immediate concern

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the coronavirus is inevitable and will spread within the United States, potentially putting scores of tightly-packed school children at risk of coming down with it. 

That's something school districts across the state are keeping a close eye on, even though, right now, there are no confirmed cases in Florida. 

”Right now we're not seeing anything in Florida, certainly nothing in Pasco, so we're continuing to stay in contact with the health department,” said Pasco County School District Public Information Officer Steve Hegarty. 

”All you have to do is have one kid come to school and then it catches and you've got a third grade where there's only a few kids who show up because everyone's out sick,” Hegarty explained. 

Currently, there is no vaccine against the virus. The CDC said, if needed, schools could close to keep sick people away from each other. Virtual or online classes would be one possible answer in that worst-case scenario. 

”You know if we have a hurricane or something like that we know how to contact parents and let them know what to do if there's something drastic. We’re nowhere near that right now,” Hegarty explained.

As it stands, the more immediate concern, according to Pasco County Schools, is the flu that's going around. Officials encourage students to use good hygiene like hand washing, sneezing into your elbow and staying home if you get sick. The same goes for preventing COVID-19, the coronavirus.