By adamg on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 9:59pm
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.
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.