Given the media attention concerning Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and concerns many have about the spread of this new virus, I wanted to reach out to you with some basic information and ways to stay healthy. I also want to assure you that Chatham Central School District is closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the Columbia County Department of Health, and the New York State Education Department.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus most commonly include fever with cough, and shortness of breath. Some people may have fewer or no symptoms at all. The virus is likely spread from cough and sneeze droplets or close contact with an infected individual.
Our schools will continue to be vigilant with the proactive measures we take during cold and flu season to avoid the spread of illnesses. This includes regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and reminding our students and staff to wash their hands often. I would also like to remind our parents to keep your children home from school if they are sick (please refer to our guidance provided in our Cold and Flu Season Reminders), and to contact your medical provider immediately if your child becomes seriously ill.
If the District becomes aware that a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will notify staff and parents/guardians. If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, we will follow our current practices for handling respiratory illnesses, subject to any additional guidance forthcoming.
The NYS Department of Health recommends these simple steps to help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses such as cold and flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
More information about Coronavirus is available at:
Also, New York has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline, which can provide additional information. Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms.
Please know that the health and safety of our students and staff is a priority at Chatham Central School District.
Dr. Sal DeAngelo