New Jersey officials issued a set of guidelines for child care centers, schools and universities in preparation for a coronavirus outbreak.
The state's Department of Health expects respiratory virus caused by COVID-19 to continue spreading, although the public health risk remains low.
"At this time, respiratory illnesses are much more likely to be due to common viruses (e.g., influenza, common cold) than COVID-19," officials said.
"If a community (or more specifically, a school) has cases of COVID-19, local health officials will help identify those individuals and will follow up on next steps."
As of Tuesday, 60 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the U.S. -- none in New Jersey.
State health officials urge schools to anticipate school closures, implement flexible attendance, establish procedures and develop a plan in response to community transmission.
Other points include preventative measures, cleaning procedures, travel recommendations ahead of spring break and what to do if a student or staff presents with symptoms of COVID-19.
Schools are not expected to screen students or staff members.
"At this time, there is no need to cancel school or social events," the guidelines say. "There are no cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey, and there are no restrictions on public gatherings.
"Students should be reminded that part of good respiratory hygiene is staying home from events when they are ill."
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