FLEMINGTON, N.J. – Focusing on personal hygiene has been the approach officials at Hunterdon Central Regional High School have taken so far in combating the coronavirus outbreak.

Superintendent Jeff Moore gave an overview of how the district has been preparing in the wake of the epidemic at the board of education meeting March 9. He said increased cleaning and other protocols are already being followed because it’s flu season.

“These protocols are pretty stringent in terms of increasing frequency of sanitation on surfaces and laboratories, and on buses as well,” he said.

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Moore added that the school has also stepped up more than what’s normally done during flu season, including instruction on personal hygiene practices like washing hands. All classrooms, he said, have been outfitted with hand sanitizer dispensers.

Moore also discussed what will happen if enhanced protocols or a closure need to be implemented. Under enhanced protocols, lunch schedules would be modified to reduce crowds, sanitation of surfaces and buses would increase and administrators would decided whether field trips and exchange programs will take place.

There are two scenarios that would cause the school to close, Moore said.

One would be based on how many students and staff members show up to hold a school day. The other scenario would involve the health department giving a written order to close the school. 

It would be under the latter scenario that arrangements for online learning would take place, per state policy, he said.

Moore emphasized that the school is not alone in such decisions. He said his counterparts in other county school districts have been meeting regularly and sharing information. 

The Hunterdon County health and public safety departments have also been part of planning and preparation conversations, Moore said. He emphasized those partnerships at the beginning and end of his presentation.

“Particularly the department of public health is taking a lead in our county with emergency management to ensure that we all have good information, that there are good contacts between different sectors in our community,” he said.