Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Deneen Guss, County Superintendent of Schools

Guidance for Schools & Districts

Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQ covers general recommendations made by MCOE. Please confirm with your schools/districts/health care providers on specifics.

What is the most important thing to do?

Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you are ill and/or have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home. Please remember it is still cold and flu season. COVID-19 is not the only reason for us all to stay vigilant about being healthy.

Where should I check for information?

Please use only official government agency outlets to obtain information. They include:

How is COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through droplets; it is not an airborne virus.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Travel Guidance

The risk of exposure to this new coronavirus is increasing over time.

Travelers from mainland China arriving in the United States since February 3, 2020 should be excluded from school for 14 days, beginning the day after they left China.

CDC guidance on returning travelers is available on the CDC Corona Virus Webpage.

In the unusual event that a student or staff member is identified who:

  • has symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever and cough, AND
  • traveled from mainland China in the prior 14 days

Please take the following steps:

  • separate the individual from others as much as possible and make arrangements for the individual to go home, and
  • contact your local health department immediately at 831-784-2150. Be prepared to provide the child’s name, date of birth, address, phone number, and the reason for being sent home.

Social Distancing

Social distancing involves measures that reduces opportunities for person-to-person virus transmission that can help delay the spread and slow the exponential growth of a pandemic during severe, very severe, or extreme pandemics while minimizing the secondary consequences of the measures. Social distancing measures can be implemented in a range of community settings, including educational facilities, workplaces, and public places where people gather (e.g., parks, religious institutions, theaters, and sports arenas). The choice of social distancing measure depends on the severity of the pandemic. Social distancing measures include the following:

  • Closure of schools or work environments.
  • Lessening the contact between individuals through cancelation of non-academic events. 
  • If schools remain open during a pandemic, divide school classes into smaller groups of students and rearrange desks so students are spaced at least 3 feet from each other in a classroom. This applies to apparently healthy persons without symptoms. In the event of a very severe or extreme pandemic, this recommended minimal distance between people might be increased.
  • Persons in community settings who show symptoms consistent with cold or flu and who might be infected with pandemic illness should be separated from well persons as soon as practical, be sent home, and practice voluntary home isolation. 
  • Modify, postpone, or cancel mass gatherings.


Jessica Hull

Communications & Public Relations Officer
Phone: 831.784.4245

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