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New Jersey Schools, Senior Living Facilities Preparing To Keep Children, Elderly Safe In Case Of Coronavirus Outbreak

COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. (CBS) -- Organizations of all types and sizes are getting ready, just in case coronavirus surfaces in our region. When it comes to respiratory sicknesses like Covid-19, children and the elderly are the most likely to suffer severe consequences.

Collingswood Public Schools are reinforcing good handwashing and coughing practices with children, as well as stepping up their sanitation efforts, as school districts nationwide prepare for the possible spread of coronavirus.

"We're just trying to take kind of common sense precautions at this point," Collingswood Schools Superintendent Scott Oswald said.

At the directions of the New Jersey Department of Education, they are also making sure teachers have homebound instruction plans ready to roll and telling parents to make childcare provisions should their children miss long periods of school.

"It is important that families have a backup plan because the backup plan can't be I'm going to send my sick child to school," Oswald said.

Children and seniors are most susceptible to respiratory viruses like the flu or coronavirus, so the Spring Hills company, which runs senior living and hospital step-down facilities, is not taking any chances.

"Bleach, lots of bleach," said Patricia Madden, infection prevention specialist at Atrium Post-Acute Care. "So, our housekeeping department has been instructed that every single room, every bed rail, every call bell, every TV controller is wiped daily with a bleach wipe."

Atrium Post-Acute Care in Woodbury is planning a staff training seminar this week to go over best practices for preventing infections, and they're screening people at the door to stop viruses from entering their facilities.

"The building has put into place a coronavirus team to deal with it as we go along," said Dr. Andrew Pecora, medical director for Spring Hills Senior Living.

There are no confirmed coronavirus cases in the Garden State.

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