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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Oxford High School surprises exchange student with goodbye send-off

Paula Garcia-Serrano is being forced to return home to Spain amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

OXFORD, Miss — An exchange student from Spain got a big send-off surprise by her classmate and teachers Wednesday, before she returns to her home country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, the school head a drive-by parade to show Paula Garcia-Serrano love and support. Everyone observed social distancing, while still showing Paula that they will miss her.

The school says Paula was given short notice that she would have to leave for home, and will return to Spain Thursday. They say they worked to try to get permission for her to stay, but the request was denied.

Paula was part of French Club, Theater, Diamond Girls, Bowling, and more while attending Oxford High School.

As part of the parade, those who took part stayed in their cars, but made signs, waved, honked horns, and shouted their love for their friend.

Videos are also being compiled to send to Paula.

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Coronavirus in Context: 

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80-percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.