EXETER — SAU 16 Superintendent David Ryan wishes to provide students, parents and guardians with updated information on the 2019 new coronavirus (COVID-19) as federal and state health officials continue to monitor the spread of the virus internationally.
Earlier today, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) made important changes to their recommendations for people who have traveled to countries with Level 2 and 3 advisories. While the hygiene protocol that was outlined in a previous letter sent to school community members on Feb. 29 has not changed, the recommendation for exclusions has.
According to the health department, people who have returned from mainland China are being monitored by public health authorities and must stay home for 14 days after their travel. People who have returned from other locations with travel notices for COVID-19, namely Italy, South Korea and Iran, should stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing. More information regarding this specific recommendation change can be found by clicking here.
Given these updated recommendations, SAU 16 is requiring all students or staff who traveled to these countries over the winter break to discontinue their attendance at school and all school-related events until they have been back in the United States and symptom-free for 14 days.
We would like the community to know that we will offer alternative learning opportunities for those families that traveled in the CDC identified areas and are following the CDC recommendations. Please contact your school’s principal immediately if this applies to your family and your school’s principal can help set that up for your student(s).
Parents and guardians are reminded that, in an effort to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as the flu, respiratory viruses and gastrointestinal illnesses, students need to be free from fever, vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications before returning to school if they have been sick, and are advised to stay home and not go to school if they are presenting any of those symptoms.
In an effort to prevent the spread of flu, colds and other respiratory illnesses, SAU 16 wishes to provide students and their families with recommended actions from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services:
- For a minimum of 20 seconds, wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
- When you have a fever or are ill, stay home from work or school
Every year during flu season, the district works to sanitize and clean its facilities regularly and comprehensively. These efforts include cleaning and disinfecting all frequently touched items and areas including doorknobs, keyboards, restrooms and water fountains; disinfecting preschool toys and play areas; and posting signs in restrooms to educate students on effective handwashing and catching coughs and sneezes. SAU 16 has also been using Clorox Electrostatic Sprayers daily in their disinfecting efforts.
For more information, visit the NH DHHS website by clicking here and the CDC’s website by clicking here. Parents are also encouraged to use this resource to learn more about how to talk to their children about the Coronavirus situation.