Flu/Coronavirus Messages from Interim Superintendent
(March 3, 2020 Message from Interim Superintendent Tim Connor)
I wanted to provide an update to our school community on planning protocols, meetings and a resource for speaking to your children regarding the Coronavirus. As the coverage of the Coronavirus by the media increases, we want to be sure that you have strategies for ways to talk to your children about this issue. The National Association of School Psychologists released a guide (here) for adults that may help in discussing the virus and ways we can practice preventative measures.
Additionally, please know that the Emergency Management Team of the town met March 2, 2020, to listen to the latest information from the Department of Public Health. We continue to monitor this situation closely and will continue to provide updates as needed. We will follow any and all directives provided by the Massachusetts Department of Health, local health officials and the Center for Disease Control. I have asked all administrators to reinforce with their faculty, staff, and students that handwashing is the number one preventative measure in controlling any virus.
National Association of School Psychologists Parent Guide: this link
West Springfield Public Schools and the Town of West Springfield continue to track the latest information of the Coronavirus at the state, town and district levels. Our community health professionals are keeping abreast of the most recent developments and will be adhering to any and all guidance provided by the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As with the flu, we are encouraging our school and community members to continue using good hygiene practices listed below. Our Director of Nursing and Director of Public Health have been in communication to ensure the schools and the town are on the same page.
In January, and at the beginning of February, we did see many cases of influenza, mostly type B. Currently, we are seeing fewer cases of influenza, though we continue to monitor any related symptoms. The latest communication from the Massachusetts Department of Health states, “Although the risk to Massachusetts residents of the novel Coronavirus is low, the risk for influenza is currently high. Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses.”
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Stay home if you are sick (24 hours fever-free prior to returning)
Please visit this link on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the latest information and guidance related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition, information is posted on the Town of West Springfield website (this link).