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Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at NPS

Message from Dr. Estrella: Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at NPS
Posted on 09/19/2020
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A Message from the Superintendent

On September 18, Norwalk Public Schools was notified that three members of our school community have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and a fourth was presumed positive. The affected persons have been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 10 days and have been provided with additional instructions to follow prior to returning to school. Family members have also been instructed to contact their healthcare provider about getting tested. Any student required to self-quarantine will have access to virtual instruction.

The last day these persons were in the district was Tuesday, September 15 and Thursday, September 17. Anyone who is considered a “close contact” with these persons has been contacted or will be contacted directly by school or local health officials, and provided with instructions on the appropriate steps to take. Some members of our community will receive instructions on a mandatory quarantine. A staff member will contact you if your student has been impacted.

In consultation with our local health department and our district medical advisor, the following actions have been taken: 

  • All P-TECH students and staff will transition to virtual instruction for 14 days effective Monday, September 21.
  • One Silvermine Dual Language Magnet School classroom and several Silvermine staff will transition to virtual instruction for 14 days effective Monday, September 21.
  • Bus routes serving Brien McMahon High School, Ponus Ridge STEAM Academy and Silvermine Dual Language Magnet School have also been impacted and those families have been contacted individually. These bus riders will transition to virtual learning for 14 days effective Monday, September 21.

COVID-19 is spread mainly via person-to-person contact through contaminated air droplets from coughing and sneezing by an infected person. As with controlling the spread of other viruses, we urge everyone to discuss the following preventive measures with your children and family members: 

  • Wash your hands frequently, but especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and hot water, wash for about 20 seconds. Be sure to also wash your fingertips. When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze inside the elbow of your arm.
  • As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • Wear a face covering (mask) whenever there is a likelihood that you or your family members will be in the presence of others.
  • Maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet) between yourself and others when outside of your home. 

Below is the list of COVID-19 symptoms for which everyone should monitor in their family members:

  • Fever (100.4° Fahrenheit or higher)
  • Chills or shaking chills
  • Uncontrolled new cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough) 
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell

For additional information on COVID-19 symptoms, please see:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Staff and students exhibiting any of the above symptoms, or feeling ill, should remain home and call their medical provider to report their symptoms and ask about testing prior to seeking in-person care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital. For more information on what to do if you or a family member has possible symptoms, a diagnosis, or exposure to COVID-19, please see Addendum 5: Interim Guidance for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios in Connecticut School Districts, available here:

https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/COVID19/COVID-19-Resources-for-Families-and-Educators/Addendums-and-FAQs

We are closely monitoring this situation and working with our Norwalk Health Director Deanna D’Amore and the District’s Medical Advisor Dr. Norman Weinberger. We will provide you with updates as needed. If you have questions about your child or school, please contact your school’s principal. 

While Connecticut has been a model for other states in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, we know that the threat from COVID-19 will not go away easily. We will continue to carefully move forward to provide the best learning environment possible, while keeping the health and safety of our students and staff in mind. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Alexandra Estrella

Superintendent