Update on Coronavirus as of 3/6/2020

I want to update you on the district’s ongoing preparations regarding COVID-19. Since our last communication the situation continues to evolve. Over the past week, I have continued to update the Board of Education; participated in Governor Murphy’s statewide conference call; collaborated with superintendents across the county and the state; met with health and administrative representatives from our municipalities, and continued preparations with our administrative and nursing teams. Based on this work, I want to share the following: 

Reiterating information from previous communications, the following is crucial: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 
  • Prevent the spread of germs by covering coughs and sneezes. 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash. 
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid sick people. 
    • Regarding this, the district will exercise the utmost flexibility within our policies to support students and families in making healthy, responsible decisions in the event of possible exposure or the presence of symptoms. Contact your building principal if you need specific information; 
    • however, we are not able to waive absences if parents choose to keep students home without a presence of symptoms or confirmation of possible exposure. 

We continue to clean our buildings completely, focusing nightly on high-traffic areas and sanitizing door knobs/handles/release bars, flat working surfaces, and main entry/exit doors. There are already hand-sanitizer dispensers in high-volume areas which are filled consistently. Buildings will receive additional sanitizer pumps to add to these areas and to travel with any shared technology carts. 

On Thursday, the NJDOE provided guidance that, in the instance that the NJ Department of Health requires the closing of a school, will allow for virtual instruction. In response, we are modifying our response protocols to allow for this. We will be asking families for information on technology in the home and preparing to provide instruction for all students as we are able. This said, health officials continue to say that it is unlikely this will occur. 
At this time, we are not canceling local trips, but we are discouraging international travel, certainly to any of the CDC’s defined, substantially impacted areas including: China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, or Hong Kong. 
For more information from our health professionals: 

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your school administration. 

Regards,

Russell M. Lazovick
Superintendent of Schools


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