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Several Central Bucks School District Children, Staff Present At Gathering Coronavirus Patient Attended, Prompting Closure Of 5 Schools

BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) -- The Central Bucks School District has closed five schools Friday over coronavirus concerns. School officials say people within the district were exposed to a confirmed case of coronavirus in another state.

Butler, CB South, Titus, Tohickon and Tamanend have been closed out of an abundance of caution after officials say a person from out of state, who is now known to have coronavirus, attended a recent private gathering at a residence in Central Bucks County.

Bucks County officials announced Friday night that those who came into contact with the coronavirus patient have all tested negative for the virus.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says the individual with coronavirus is from Maryland and had recently gotten back from an Egyptian cruise on the Nile River, before coming to Bucks County.

Parents say they're anxious and now their children are too.

"I'm just scared for my family and my friends. I don't want to be sick," Titus Elementary School sixth-grader Brooke Carrington said.

What You Need To Know: Latest Coronavirus Information From Pennsylvania, New Jersey And Delaware Health Departments

Brooke's school, along with four others, all closed their doors to undergo a thorough deep cleaning because of possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Superintendent Dr. John Kopicki says he made the decision after learning late Thursday night that a person from out of state, who is now known to have coronavirus, attended a recent private gathering at a home in central Bucks County.

The Bucks County Health Department says multiple children and staff who attended the gather either work at or attend one of the five closed schools.

Parents got word through text messages and email around 5:45 a.m. Friday.

"It is very frightening as a parent, to think that each of my children could be exposed," parent Jamie Carrigan said.

Carrigan's three children attend three of the five shutdown schools.

"The basketball game was scheduled -- a playoff game for CB South High School -- for tomorrow but now they changed it to Bridge Valley, which is one of the elementary schools that wasn't close down today due to this virus," she said.

The superintendent says the school district's maintenance staff will consult with the Bucks County Emergency Management Team before performing a deep cleaning over the weekend.

It's a move Kopicki says is out of an abundance of caution.

"We feel as though we made the best decision in the best interest in keeping our kids safe," Kopicki said.

Kopicki says he will remain in contact with both state and county health officials to see if the schools should reopen on Monday.

Coronavirus is transmitted like the common flu virus and can be easily eliminated with good cleaning and personal hygiene practices. Common symptoms for coronavirus include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. Some tips from the website to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as coronavirus, include:

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, electronic devices, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick to help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Click here for more information on the coronavirus.

CBS3's Chantee Lans contributed to this report.

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