Thousands of students in Ellis County are on spring break this week, raising concerns about student travel amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Many people, however, have heeded the warning by health officials to exercise precaution.

One of those people is Leo Smith who cancelled a trip to Houston with his niece and nephew.
“With the scare of the coronavirus, I’m terrified that I will take them and they will become sick,” Smith admitted. “So, to keep us safe I decided to cancel the trip and go at a later time.”

Smith added that even though they were planning on driving instead of flying, he was still fearful because they were going to visit places that accommodate large crowds such as shopping malls, restaurants and sporting venues.

Not everyone, however, is concerned.

Analissa Oliphant’s daughter attends Red Oak High School and plays on the volleyball team. They have no travel plans this week, but will fly with the team later this month to Las Vegas and Atlanta.

“I’m actually of the mindset that I worry more about the hysteria than anything,” Oliphant explained. “I’m aware of what’s going on and definitely taking more precautions than usual but at this point I’m not concerned enough to cancel our trips.”

“We’ve received word from tournament officials that certain precautions are in place," she added. "For instance, no teams will participate in handshakes prior to, or after, matches and no players will be allowed to touch hands during substitutions.”

The Waxahachie ISD is reminding students and staff “to wash their hands regularly, use hand sanitizer, and stay home if they are sick. We are wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe spring break.”

No COVID-19 cases have been identified in Ellis County as of Tuesday.

Collin County health officials, however, identified three cases of the virus in a Frisco family, Tuesday, after a man reportedly traveled to California recently. His wife and 3-year-old child also tested positive. The family is the first in Texas to contract the illness within the U.S.

A dozen cases previously identified in Houston were related to travelers returning from a cruise, health officials confirmed.

Nearly 800 people in the U.S. have tested positive for the respiratory illness and about 30 of them have died, as of Tuesday, according to reports. Worldwide, the latest numbers show about 108,000 infections and 3,800 deaths.