February 26, 2020 // Superintendent's Update on the Coronavirus
Dear SPS Staff and Families,
I am writing to share with you the following information about the coronavirus and suggestions for best health practices.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has shared guidance for school administrators and school health personnel regarding the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19. As of this writing, Massachusetts has one confirmed case of COVID-19 and the risk to our residents remains low. In the US, there are fewer than 60 confirmed cases. At the same time, the risk for the influenza virus is very high. It is important to note that residents are much more likely to become sick with a cold or the flu than to be exposed to COVID-19. The guidance letter sent to all schools is available at the DPH website at: www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus. Here is a useful fact sheet in many languages to assist you in learning about this virus: https://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19#-printable-fact-sheets-
As always, prevention is the best medicine. Working with the nursing staff, we are implementing a personal protection campaign at all schools. This campaign seeks to reinforce best health practices, such as frequent hand washing, to prevent self-infection and spreading of infection; covering your mouth if you cough and avoiding contact with your eyes, mouth, and nose with your hands; and maintaining clean, disinfected work surfaces. Students and staff should not come to school when sick, and must be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning.