The Superintendent of Schools released the following letter to parents in our district on March 3, 2020. We encourage families to follow the good hygiene practices listed in the letter as well as visit the links to CDC and New Jersey Department of Health to stay informed on the progress of the coronavirus (now called COVID-19).
I am writing to assure you that we are monitoring the progress of the novel coronavirus (newly abbreviated to COVID-19) as the number of cases increase in the United States. Currently, there are no known cases in New Jersey. We are reviewing the resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health. We are also reviewing our policies and pandemic plan so we are prepared in the event COVID-19 spreads to our area.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person, similar to the flu. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC has provided a fact sheet on what you need to know about COVID-19 – click here for fact sheet. This is a rapidly evolving public health situation so please check the CDC website for updates.
As the health and safety of our students is a priority, I want to reiterate the steps we are taking to keep students and staff healthy, which I included in my February 18th communication. As it is flu season, our custodial staff has already enhanced its efforts to disinfect common touch points such as water fountains, bathrooms, desks, door handles, etc. They use the Protexus sprayer machine to kill viruses, such as the flu. In addition, hand sanitizers are located throughout the schools for use by staff and students.
Our school nurses are monitoring students with flu-like symptoms and reporting cases to the county health department. If your child is absent from school for flu-like symptoms, please communicate that to our attendance office who will in turn inform the school nurses. In addition, parents should notify the school nurse if someone in their family has recently traveled to a country substantially impacted by COVID-19. We are reviewing our procedures to ensure students and staff who become sick at school or arrive at school sick are sent home as soon as possible. If your child is sick, please keep them home, and we are advising our staff members to do the same if they are sick.
We would appreciate your help in our efforts to keep our students and staff healthy. Please follow, and remind your student to follow, the recommendations below from the CDC to stop the spread of viruses. These recommendations are also being shared with staff members and students in school.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- If you are sick, please stay home. Again, report to the attendance office or school nurse if your child is having flu-like symptoms.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
There is a multitude of information and resources regarding COVID-19. Below are a few links to resources:
- CDC’s Coronavirus Disease website
- What to do if you are sick with Coronavirus Disease
- Travel Information
- New Jersey Department of Health website
- NJDOH COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care and K-12 Schools
We will continue to follow guidance from the Hunterdon County and New Jersey Departments of Health and CDC as it is released. We appreciate your support and assistance in our efforts to stop the spread of germs and viruses in our schools.
Superintendent of Schools
North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District