March 4, 2020
Dear Nutley Parents, Staff, and Community,
As you are aware, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing global concern as new cases have been confirmed in the United States this past week. I wanted to take the time to assure you that the health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority and we have been part of regular communication with our local and state health departments, our Essex County school leaders, the Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control. Based upon information provided from the State and the CDC, we do not face any imminent concerns at this time, but we do want to remind you and your families to implement best practices for good hygiene during this cold and flu season.
Please follow these measures at home and school, and speak with your children about doing the same. It is very important that we all take these simple, yet important steps
. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
. • If you don’t feel well, please seek out your healthcare provider
. • Avoid contact with people who are sick
. • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
• Cough and squeeze into a tissue or into your sleeve, not your hands
. • Use a tissue and then dispose of it
. • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, using a disinfecting spray or wipe
. • 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.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer
. • Children should not return to school unless they have been fever-free without medication for 24 hours
. • Get a flu shot to protect yourself against the flu this season– it's not too late.
We ask that you keep your children home if they are feeling sick and that you too, stay home, if you are unwell. Our school nurses also monitor student and staff absences daily and report any flu-like symptoms to the health department. Please only report to the school that your child has the flu if you have a doctor’s note confirming that.
Our staff members are promoting universal precautions among students, including frequent hand washing. Our nurses are visiting our elementary classes to conduct regularly scheduled lessons in the health curriculum, which focus on effective hand washing, coughing and sneezing techniques, use of hand sanitizers and general hygiene. If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, the school nurse will be alerted in order to follow standard precautions.
We continue to maintain standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting, including daily sanitizing of surfaces and objects that are touched often such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning materials, faucet handles, and telephones. The Curis sanitizer fogger machine is used daily to disinfect spaces.
While there are no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Nutley, we have policies in place to guide the district through these types of circumstances. District Policy 8451 - Control of Communicable Disease - outlines clear procedures and steps that we follow in any infectious situation. It further requires that we comply with all regulations of the New Jersey Department of Health and the Nutley and Essex County Board of Health offices governing the prevention, control, and reporting of communicable disease. Although these protocols are in place, we recognize this could be an unprecedented situation which may call for additional collaboration and compliance with the directives from local and state agencies. We will also comply with the guidance provided by the New Jersey Department of Education, should it advise that we need to modify the delivery of our instructional programming. As recommended by the CDC, we are in the process of making preparations for the possibility that a spread of the virus in the U.S. may impact school attendance, and/or require us to close schools.
If you are looking for more information, please visit the CDC’s website here. Additional information regarding the coronavirus and State guidance can be found at the New Jersey DOH website. They have also established a hotline (800-222-1222) to answer questions about COVID19. Nutley’s local Department of Health is providing regular updates on the topic here. Please see the attached COVID-19 Fact Sheet for your reference. For families who have recently traveled or plan to do so, we encourage you to follow the CDC’s information for travel.
We continue to follow the situation as it unfolds and to have conversations with our health officials. We will keep you abreast of any new information we receive.
Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students, staff, and the Nutley community safe and healthy.
Dr. Julie Glazer
Superintendent, Nutley Public Schools