Coronavirus Update #2

Coronavirus Update #2
Posted on 03/06/2020
The District continues to monitor the CDC and local health department website daily to stay informed about the latest information regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus). The advice for school communities that do not have active cases of COVID-19, like Old Saybrook, and as of today, all of Connecticut, is to continue to monitor and prevent.

To that end, the District has taken the following steps:

1. Daily reviewed of CDC and CT River Area Health and CT Department of Public Health
2. Reviewed regular updates from the State Department of Education.
3. Begun issuing new cleaning cloths for computer surfaces.
4. Ensured that all hand sanitizers are full and operable. Hand sanitizers are present throughout our schools and in all classrooms that do not have sinks.
5. Ensured that all soap dispensers are full and operable.
6. Put additional cleaning practices in place.
7. Posted signs prepared by the CDC in key locations in our schools that direct students and staff to wash their hands, cover sneezes and coughs, and stay home when they are ill.
8. Collected information every 48 hours from nurses and school secretaries regarding the number and types of illnesses we are seeing in students and staff. This information will be shared with my office. (Information will be shared without personally identifiable information.)
9. Sought and will continue to seek guidance from the District’s medical advisor when/if specific situations arise.
10. Reviewed and reworked our pandemic planning documents.

What does a school pandemic plan outline?

A school pandemic plan identifies resources available in our schools to keep learning going even if schools are closed for a period of time. We are finalizing an analysis of the number of computers we have available for students and staff who may need them. We are identifying our communication and classroom tools such as PowerSchool, Google Classroom, and email accounts. Absent a directive from the state to close schools, we are including a list of situations, beyond the current concerns, that might trigger a partial or complete shutdown of schools for an extended period of time.

What can families do to help prevent the spread of illness in our schools?

Please remind your children of good habits.
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder if you do not have a tissue.
Also:
• Keep your child home if they are sick. Early on symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of seasonal influenza and may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

What can staff do to help prevent the spread of illness in our schools?

• Send students who express that they aren’t feeling well or who become sick to the nurse for evaluation.
• Keep classroom areas clean throughout the day.
• Notify custodians and/or administrators of any specific concerns you have about classrooms and keep an eye on supply of hand sanitizer/soap dispensers in your classrooms.
• Encourage students to wash hands, cover sneezes and coughs, and keep their hands away from their faces. Practice these same procedures yourselves.

We do not wish to alarm families, staff, or students with these updates, but we feel responsible for preparing our schools and communicating our preparations to you regularly and no less frequently than once a week while this situation continues to develop.

Families and Staff Should Know:

(excerpted from a letter from the Governor’s office)
As of March 4 (yesterday), the CDC is advising anyone who has recently returned from a country designated as Level 3 – which currently include China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea – to self-monitor in their homes for 14 days upon returning to the United States. Anyone who has recently returned from a country designated as Level 2 – which currently includes Japan – should limit their interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States.

We do not wish to alarm families, staff, or students with these updates, but we feel responsible for preparing our schools and communicating our preparations to you regularly and no less frequently than once a week while this situation continues to develop.