This letter is to update you on the current situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our school’s response to the evolving situation and steps you can take to prevent the spread of the illness.

While we have had no cases reported in our school community, there has been one confirmed case in Rochester. We want to assure our parents and community members that we are in close communication with the Ulster County Department of Health (UCDOH) to ensure we have the most accurate and up-to-date information.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within our community, we will be immediately notified and will work the UCDOH to respond appropriately.

The safety and well-being of our students, families, and staff are our highest priority. Since early February, we have taken a proactive approach to ensure that protocols for cleaning, monitoring, reporting, and communicating are in place. The NYS Department of Health, NYS Education Department, and the Center for Disease Control have provided clear guidance for us. We have reviewed our emergency response plans and are closely monitoring patterns of absences.

While we remain alert to the situation, individuals also play a significant role in preventing the spread of any illness. Below are actions that we have discussed with each class and which you can take to ensure we all stay as healthy as possible:

  • Stay informed, using reputable sources of information.
  • Practice daily preventative care, including washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Direct sneezes and coughs into your shirt sleeve or a tissue, not into your hands. Discard your tissues.
  • Stay home if you are sick and do not send children to school when sick. Look for:
    • Upper respiratory symptoms.
    • Fever and chills- Students with a fever above 100.0° should not attend school until they are fever free for a minimum of 24 hours (without the aid of a fever reducer).
    • Muscle aches and pains.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms persist. Call the medical facility before you arrive.
  • Practice healthy habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

While the presence of COVID-19 in the United States is still emerging, the CDC is reporting that for the general American public, the immediate health risk is considered low.

We want to assure our community that we are carefully monitoring this situation and will continue to execute our protocols to protect our community. We will keep you informed of any new information that emerges.

We will also be following up with more information tomorrow which describes our contingency plans for remote learning if the school were required to shut down temporarily. We have been working on this, in consultation with NYSAIS, for the last few weeks.

Thank you,
The Health Office
High Meadow School