Norwalk schools and hospitals plan for potential coronavirus cases

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With coronavirus cases reported in neighboring New York state, local hospitals and schools are ramping up efforts to get ready.

School leaders are making plans even before coronavirus appears in Connecticut.

"We will be avoiding assemblies, all school assemblies where you have several hundred children together in the same place," said Norwalk Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Adamowski.

MORE: CDC Information about COVID-19 

Adamowski said Wednesday that schools are also canceling international trips and will not send or receive exchange students to or from high-infection countries.

School officials are also concerned about kids traveling for spring break and bringing the coronavirus back with them. If students must be quarantined, they will be able to work on their assignments from home.

And if a case appears locally, kids may have to eat lunch in their classrooms. Campuses could even close temporarily.

School officials are also encouraging parents to devise their own plans.

"Parents should be thinking now through their own plans for work and possible child care," said Dr. Frank Costanzo of Norwalk Public Schools.

At Norwalk Hospital, the staff has been running drills for several weeks. Doctors believe they have enough quarantine beds and respirators to respond to an outbreak.

"We're prepared and maximize as many resources as we can within the network so we have special rooms that have to be set up," said Dr. Paolo Pino of Norwalk Hospital.

So far, Connecticut does not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus. If one case should appear, officials already have a plan in place.

"We would first try to figure out how that person got infected. We would look at their travel history," said Norwalk Health Director Deanna D'Amore. "We would also be looking to see who that person had been in contact with, and we would be getting all that contact information and figuring out the level of risk that those contacts have."

The Impact Of Coronavirus Around the World 

 News 12 will host a 30-minute call-in show Monday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. where experts will answer your questions about the coronavirus. The show will be followed by a special Facebook Live Q&A.

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