Augusts 1st, 2020,
Many of you may have questions regarding the recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019nCoV) and how it may impact our local communities and schools. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing daily updates and recommendations
(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html). In addition, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also has a number of resources and updates available (https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm).
While this is a public health concern, the CDC continues to report that the immediate risk to the general public remains low at this time. However, in today’s connected world, with a significant number of families and individuals traveling during school vacation weeks, the potential for infectious disease is always of concern. As with the seasonal flu and strep infections, there are general precautions we can all take to remain as healthy as possible, including:
Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. You can also cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid sharing drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, dishes, towels, or other items. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
Practice other good health habits – clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially if someone is ill; get plenty of sleep; be physically active; manage your stress; drink plenty of fluids; and eat nutritious food.
It is important to keep children home from school when they are ill. If your student has any of the following symptoms, please keep them home from school: temperature greater than 100.4, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye and/or drainage from eye, and any contagious illness such as chicken pox, strep throat or flu. For additional guidance on when to keep your student home, please contact your school nurse.
The Novel Coronavirus is a quickly evolving situation that we are following very closely. We are in close communication with the New Hampshire Department or Health and Human Services (Division of Public Health Services) and the New Hampshire Department of Education. Our school facilities departments are vigilantly sanitizing our educational spaces as is typical during cold and flu season. We will follow all recommended guidelines to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
We are committed to student and staff wellness and will continue to share new information with you regarding this current situation as it becomes available.
Dr. Lois Costa
Superintendent of Schools