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Newton high-school students, teachers returning from Italy trip ordered to stay home 'until further notice'

Students and staffers at Newton North High School who returned yesterday from a month-long exchange program in Florence were told today to stay home from school until they can be cleared by city and state health officials of any possible Covid-19 infection, School Superintendent David Fleishman said in an e-mail to Newton school parents tonight.

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.

Fleishman added:

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.

He concluded his e-mail with basic tips for minimizing the risks of contracting Covid-19 and other viruses: Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds frequently, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and stay home if you're sick.



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Properly washing your hands means spreading soap on the backs of the hands, in between fingers, under fingernails.

Also, don’t touch your face (eyes, nose, or mouth).

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I’m curious about everyone else on these flights coming in and out.

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Nose picking is the real victim of this virus.

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Fomites are a hypothesis. This stuff is airborne.

Any other MBTA riders laugh at "if someone on the bus is coughing move six feet away"?

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Treat your hands like they are covered with germs (they probably are) and don't let them come near your face unless you just washed them. Don't even THINK of eating without washing your hands first.

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which are Lombardy (Milan) and Veneto (Venice).

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One does not simply spend a month in Italy without visiting Venice.

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Of course Mysterio destroyed a lot of it last summer so that's a problem also.

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...there's already community spread inside the US. Not sure what good this will do but ok.

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is a very small place where everyone is in direct contact with everyone else.

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