NORFOLK — Superintendent Ingrid Allardi announces that all Norfolk Public Schools will close tomorrow as a precaution against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The closure of schools is a proactive step by the school district to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 and it mirrors steps being taken in school districts throughout the state.
Norfolk Public Schools will be closed Friday, March 13 and a decision about the coming weeks will be made by the end of the week. Further guidelines are expected from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on Friday.
“The health and well-being of our students and staff remains our top priority and we believe the decision to close schools tomorrow will not only allow for a deep cleaning of both schools, but will give us more time consider what course of action to take going forward as more and more school districts in Massachusetts cancel school throughout the rest of the month,” Superintendent Allardi said.
While students and educators are out of the building, Norfolk Schools custodial staff will conduct a comprehensive and thorough disinfecting and sanitizing effort throughout the school buildings. This effort is in addition to the daily cleaning regimen the district has implemented in recent weeks in light of the virus and as is customary during flu season.
Earlier today, the district announced that there were currently two students who were self-quarantining. This evening, Supt. Allardi was notified of a third student that is self-quarantining. The department of public health places individuals in self-quarantine if they have come in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and can appear between two and 14 days after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anyone who experiences symptoms and believes they may have the virus is advised to contact their health care provider. For more information from the CDC for those who may have the virus, click here.
Norfolk Public Schools also wishes to encourage students and staff to follow recommended preventative steps from the DPH:
- Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.