Dear Parents and Guardians,
In response to the growing concern surrounding news about the Coronavirus (now known as COVID-19), I wanted to reach out in order to provide information which may be helpful. In planning for and dealing with all matters related public health, we take direct guidance from state and federal agencies, in particular the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Below are some important highlights from the most recent DPH guidance for school administrators:
- We know that outbreaks of new virus infections are always of public health concern. The DPH is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other federal agencies, local boards of health, and our clinical partners to share the most up to date information available.
- At this time, Massachusetts has one confirmed case of COVID-19 and the risk to our residents remains low. At the same time, the risk for the influenza virus is very high. As of this writing, it is extremely unlikely that anyone who has traveled to mainland China within the past 14 days would be at school.
- It is important to note that Massachusetts residents are much more likely to become sick with a cold or the flu than to be exposed to COVID-19. Many of the precautions that help prevent colds and the flu can help protect against other respiratory viruses.
- DPH recommends that schools continue education about good hygiene. Students, staff, and volunteers should be reminded to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if unable to wash, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve (not with your hands).
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
- DPH also recommends that schools continue to follow their regular cleaning and disinfection programs. In the Holbrook Public Schools, in addition to our daily cleaning and disinfection process, we are doing extra cleaning and disinfecting of all classrooms bathrooms, cafeterias and common spaces on a daily basis using Protexus (Electrostatic Sprayer). For more information on Protexus technology, please visit the HPS website where you will find a video link.
As the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are the top priority, the Holbrook Public Schools will continue to carefully monitor the guidance from DPH and other public health agencies, and we will follow their recommendations. If you have a particular concern about your child's health, please don't hesitate to contact either of our school nurses.
DPH has an informative website that is regularly updated regularly with all of the latest guidance and information, including printable fact sheets in multiple languages. If you would like to stay up-to-date on the Commonwealth's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus.
Julie S. Hamilton