COVID-19 update 03-12-20

COVID-19 Update-03-12-20
Posted on 03/12/2020

March 12, 2020


Dear Millis Families and Caregivers, 


I am reaching out today to discuss COVID-19 and what we are doing in Millis to prevent and prepare.  The pace at which the updates and news are coming in makes planning and preparation a challenge to say the least.  While the details of the disease are not all known at this time, we do know that one of our top priorities is to keep our students, employees and their loved ones as safe as possible. Fortunately, the virus does not appear to effect young and/or healthy people greatly. 


A Millis group of health professionals has met and I have been on conference calls with the Dept. of Education, the Department of Public Health, and Superintendents across the state to learn, discuss and gather information that will be helpful if a case of COVID-19 develops in Millis. I am in frequent contact with our local Board of Health as well.  Tomorrow I will participate in a conference call with DPH and Mass. DESE for updated guidance and will communicate any changes.


We are following the current guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Public Health (DPH), and our local Board of Health. I am also sending you a letter from the Millis Board of Health Director with links to those resources.


At this time the recommended strategies outlined by the CDC are:


1.      Sick children should stay home:  Students who have symptoms of respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to school until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). 


2.      Encourage everyone to follow appropriate respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. Frequent hand washing with soap and water (20 seconds or more) is the best measure.


3.      Perform Routine Environmental Cleaning:  We are disinfecting all frequently touched surfaces, such as desks, tables, bubblers, lockers, countertops, and doorknobs or door-bars. Our custodial staff will continue this practice that starts during flu season and have increased disinfection of high touch areas. 


4.      If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, please notify us and the Millis Board of Health immediately and refer to the CDC’s guidance on potential exposure.


The administrative team is reviewing all fieldtrips and events to determine whether or not plans need to be altered but currently DPH is not advising that we cancel local events or fieldtrips. We will consider each trip or event individually. Families should make decisions regarding attendance based on their family situations.


There is likely more change to come as we learn more about this disease and as governmental organizations make decisions that may impact the schools.  We believe that the guidelines listed above enable us to continue to effectively educate students while also ensuring the health of our students, staff and their loved ones to the best of our ability.  We will communicate updates to the guidelines as necessary in this quickly evolving situation. Should there be any need to close the schools due to an outbreak in our town or a number of presumptive cases, we will be following the guidance of our Board of Health. 


Here are updated resources you might find useful. 

Interim Guidance: Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 

Interim Guidance: Get Your Community- and Faith-Based Organizations Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 

Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities including guidance for homes, schools, and workplaces 

Geographic Risk Assessment for COVID-19 Transmission Call in for updated information‚Ä®For the most current information about COVID-19, please follow CDC on social media and sign up for the newsletter to receive weekly emails about the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Your questions and concerns are important to us and the more you know regarding the facts, the more you can help your children avoid unnecessary anxiety. The Board of Health and I will endeavor to keep you informed of any local changes. Thank you for your patience with this quickly evolving situation.

My best,

Nancy Gustafson

The Millis Public School district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or homelessness.

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