Dear Members of the Maynard Public School Community:
Being cognizant that community members and families of MPS have questions and concerns about COVID 19, I wanted to share some information and resources that may be helpful.
First a few points:
We are following the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC’s) Interim Guidance for schools that DO NOT have identified cases of COVID-19 in their community.
Maynard Public Schools and the Town of Maynard DO NOT have any identified cases of COVID 19.
By law the only legal enforcement authority for the state's isolation and quarantine regulations rests with the state and local Boards of Health.
School is continuing as normal.
Any decision about school cancellations would need to be made in conjunction with local and state Boards of Health
As a district we will continue to discuss and review our procedures around this issue and the seasonal flu that is going around.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the following statement: “For the general American Public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low” It is important to note that at this time the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Massachusetts is extremely low.
Should you or your children nevertheless feel anxious, the World Health Organization has put out guidance to help people cope with stress caused by COVID-19. We are encouraging to use these activities and strategies that promote positive coping during times of stress for Adults and Children.
There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy: Stop the spread of germs – help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19:
wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
The best advice to do this properly is to get hands wet, put soap on hands, turn water off, thoroughly wash hands while either reciting the alphabet two times or singing "happy birthday" twice
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Use Alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. You can also cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid sharing drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, dishes, towels or other items. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
It is important to keep children home from school when they are ill. If your child has any of the following symptoms please keep them home from school: temperature greater than 100.4, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from eye, and any contagious illness such as chicken pox, strep throat or flu.
Students should stay home from school until they are symptom free for 24 hours WITHOUT over the counter medication
Maynard Public Schools COVID-19 Preparedness
We are following the CDC’s Interim Guidance for schools which DO NOT have identified cases of COVID-19 in their community. A summary of the ways we are planning, preparing, and responding to COVID-19 in Maynard Public Schools follows:
MPS is in the process of reviewing, updating, and implementing emergency operations plans in conjunction with Maynard Police and Fire Departments. Our MPS Safety Team has representation from all schools and each school has a school-based Emergency Response Team. We have regularly scheduled safety teams meeting to review protocols and further assist with the dissemination of information.
We continue to work closely with the Maynard Board of Health (who works closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and great CDC) to share the most up-to-date COVID-19 information with the school community.
We will monitor absenteeism of students and staff. To date, we have no attendance abnormalities, but we will immediately notify local health officials if anything changes. Students and staff who are sick are encouraged to stay home, and the district will continue to respond to these situations with flexibility.
Our facilities department is continuing to perform routine cleaning in our schools and district offices. Building administrators and I have spoken with custodial staff in each building asking them to pay extra attention to frequently touched and commonly used surfaces.
We will continue to share resources with students, staff, and families to help you understand COVID-19 and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
CDC Information on COVID-19 and children.
CDC information for staff, students, and their families who have recently traveled back to the United States from areas where CDC has identified community spread of coronavirus: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel. Please note that the CDC issued this communication on February 28, 2020.
We will continue to stay in contact with the Maynard Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and will keep you updated on any developments.
Mary Jane Rickson