Dear NPS Families,
As the news and information about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to develop, you may have questions about our schools. We are working closely with the Newton Department of Health and Human Services to monitor this situation and stay up-to-date with guidance, including guidance relative to travelers.
To prevent any potential exposure to our staff and students, we are implementing federal guidance around returning travelers, which is evolving daily. To that end, today we made a decision to require students and staff from Newton North who returned from Italy on Saturday, Feb. 29th, to stay home from school beginning tomorrow, March 2nd, until further notice. These students and staff will return to school once we have been advised that it is appropriate. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution, in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), and under the direction of the Newton Health and Human Services department.
For your information, the city-wide Emergency Management Team has formed a committee to apply our robust emergency preparedness plans to possible scenarios around this infectious disease. While this specific virus is a new one, managing community spread of disease is not new and our public health professionals are well prepared. We will play an important role on this committee and will address questions about potential issues that may impact the day-to-day function of our schools.
The MA Department of Health shares the following recommendations to maintain good health:
Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Stay home if you are sick
For additional information on COVID-19, please visit the following websites:
- Newton HHS website: http://www.newtonma.gov/
- MA Dept. of Health website: https://www.mass.gov/guides/
information-on-the-outbreak- of-2019-novel-coronavirus- covid-19
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/
coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/ share-facts.html?CDC_AA_ refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc. gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov% 2Fabout%2Fshare-facts-stop- fear.html
We will continue to work with our City health partners to provide you with timely, accurate, and useful information.
Superintendent of Schools