March 3, 2020
The South Orangetown Central School District is closely monitoring all information and guidance available from the CDC and the New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). While the CDC has emphasized that the number of cases in the US remains small, the situation is evolving. To prepare for possible contingencies, we have established a team to review our existing protocols.
Based on the travel warning issued by the CDC on February 29, Tappan Zee High School’s Italy trip has been canceled. Decisions about other school-related trips will be made as needed in the coming days and weeks. As Spring Break approaches, we recommend that families and staff members refer to the CDC’s travel advisories to inform their decision-making regarding personal travel.
In terms of prevention, we:
- urge students and staff to stay home if they have a fever (100.4F or higher), signs of fever, or symptoms of flu or acute illness without taking fever- or symptom-reducing medications, such as cough suppressants;
- encourage healthy hygiene practices among students and staff, including: avoidance of people who are sick; thorough handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not readily available; covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing; and avoidance of touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; and
- enhanced our daily cleaning service (including nightly cleaning and disinfection of frequently-touched surfaces like desktops, door handles and water fountains), and have increased maintenance checks throughout the day to ensure that restrooms are fully stocked with soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer and other supplies. In addition, our transportation providers are disinfecting buses on a daily basis.
With so much media attention about COVID-19, students may have questions or become anxious. A resource to help parents speak with their children about COVID-19 has been developed by the Child Mind Institute; click here to view. Parents and guardians should contact their child’s school counselor if they believe that their child would benefit from additional support:
William O. Schaefer Elementary School & Cottage Lane Elementary School Counselor
Stephanie Mueller: [email protected]
As always, we are committed to keeping our SOCSD community healthy and safe. Updated information will be posted on www.socsd.org and communicated to families and staff as it becomes available.
Robert R. Pritchard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools