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Pinellas Co. Chinese teacher takes precautions over Coronavirus

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman living in Pinellas County was born and raised in Hong Kong but now is the principal of the Clearwater Chinese School in Pinellas Park. As the virus continues to spread, she is taking precautions against the coronavirus since many people in her community back home travel back and forth overseas.

According to the CDC website, five cases of the Coronavirus are confirmed in America. Those cases are in Washington, California, Arizona, and Illinois.

Ching Lacey teaches Chinese language and culture at the Pinellas Park school and said she was emailed two days ago by a parent of one of her students. In the email, she was asked if the school had any precautions set in place because of the coronavirus as many people in their community travel back and forth between the two countries.

Lacey said she is choosing to follow the public school guidelines of having kids stay home if they don’t feel well and to go to the doctors.

She shared with 8 On Your Side that she is somewhat concerned about going back to visit her family and friends back home because of the virus but won’t let it stop her from living her life.

“When you worry, your immune system is down,” said Lacey. “You have to be happy, eat well, a lot of sleep and a lot of water. Take enough good vitamin E and C, and be happy…do exercise!”

“Make sure you know who you’re contacting with, that individuals may be coming from mainland China, make sure your shields are up and that you have an awareness of your surroundings,” said acting secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf. “We’re doing some advance screening along with the CDC in five airports. We’ll look at extending that as the CDC requires. TSA is also doing a lot with the domestic aviation system. There is a lot happening behind the scenes that the American people might not see but I can assure you the department is on top of it.”

News Channel 8’s Christine McLarty spoke with a representative from Tampa International Airport. The representative said 136 people traveling to and from China come through TIA every day. However, Tampa doesn’t have any direct flights to China.

Homeland Security said five airports had screening procedures set up as of Tuesday. However, now that number has jumped to 20, including Miami International Airport.

As of now, TIA is not taking any precautions just yet. They’re encouraging travelers to stay diligent about handwashing and common cold practices.

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