Earlier today, Westport Public Schools’ interim superintendent of schools David Abbey and supervisor of health services Suzanne Levasseur sent this note to parents:
We want to assure you that we are carefully monitoring the status of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which continues to evolve internationally. In an effort to obtain the most current information, we participate in a weekly state conference call with the State Department of Public Health to receive information vital to the health and safety of our school community. In addition, we are collaborating on a daily basis with the Westport/Weston Health District and by extension, the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH). Fortunately, to date, no cases of 2019-nCoV have been identified in Connecticut.
While the risk of contracting 2019-nCoV remains low in our area, recommendations from health officials may change frequently as new information becomes available. Recently, we have received questions about international travel by families, students, and staff members. At this time, our District continues to follow the Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential 2019-nCoV Exposure in Travel-Associated or Community Settings issued by the CDC. Please be assured that if there are health and safety risks to the community, they will be communicated and appropriate measures will be taken.
The District is also updating our operational pandemic plan to ensure the continuity of teaching and learning in the event that schools are closed. To that end, we are exploring alternate procedures for instruction as well as developing plans to guarantee essential office functions remain in place.
The same measures which prevent other respiratory viruses, including influenza from spreading, can prevent 2019-nCoV from spreading. As such, the district is continuing with standard infection control precautions in our schools, including systematically cleaning common touch points. In an effort to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, please remember to:
- cover coughs/sneezes;
- frequently and thoroughly wash hands;
- routinely clean touched objects and surfaces;
- keep children home when they have early symptoms indicative of flu (e.g. fever, headache, extreme fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches or runny nose with unusual tiredness); and
- keep children home until they are fully recovered from an illness (e.g., have no fever, vomiting or diarrhea for at least 24 hours, are no longer significantly fatigued or in need of extra sleep, and have significantly reduced respiratory symptoms).
- If you or your children have had recent international travel and develop flu/ COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and please notify the Supervisor of Health Services.
Additional information can be found on the links below.
We will continue to be vigilant in monitoring this evolving situation and will provide updates as necessary. Thank you for your support and help with respect to keeping our schools healthy and safe.