Update Regarding Coronavirus
Dear Greene Towne families:
As coronavirus incidents continue to develop, I am writing again this week to share information and our approaches as a community as we continue to prepare for the arrival of the virus in our area.
We continue to follow guidance provided by the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. We are also in contact with Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health and the School District of Philadelphia, and sharing information via the National Association of Independent Schools, the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools, and Montessori school networks.
As I mentioned in my letter last week, any school family with a family member who has either visited or been in contact with visitors from a coronavirus quarantined area or an area with confirmed cases are asked to keep their child at home and see a doctor. In addition, in an effort to reduce potential inadvertent exposure, if your child or an immediate family member is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, we urge you to keep your child at home, and to see a doctor. If there is concern about possible coronavirus infection, the doctor will alert public health officials who in turn will contact the school and guide our school community response. In addition to these actions, we would value direct communication from you as a family should there be any potential coronavirus infection. We will not share the names of any families or individuals with the community so as to protect privacy. Public health officials would directly contact any individuals who might be at risk of exposure. If a child at school is showing flu-like symptoms, we will contact you to come and bring your child home.
Thank you for reviewing and upholding our school community precautions for avoiding the spread of infection. Here are some of the best practices to follow in order to avoid spreading any infection, including the Influenza virus:
- If your child is sick or exhibiting contagious symptoms such as fever, coughing/sneezing, or shortness of breath, please keep them home from school to avoid spreading illness. Children should be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
- Encourage everyone to practice good hand-washing and cold-prevention skills: Wash hands carefully and frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Cough or sneeze into elbows. Avoid coughing or sneezing into hands, which are more likely to spread bacteria and the flu virus through touch. When using tissues, dispose of used tissues immediately and wash hands.
- Limit touching your face and mouth with bare hands.
- Avoid contact with anyone exhibiting cold-like symptoms. Encourage those who are sick to stay home and limit contact with others.
- Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces, such as door handles, sink faucets, computers, and personal phones. Please read individual labels for proper cleaning instructions.
- Consider getting the flu vaccine if you have not already, as Influenza is still active in our area.
We are following these precautions at school as well. We have increased daily cleaning and disinfection routines throughout the school. Teachers are emphasizing practical life lessons with the children on hand washing, guarding sneezes and coughs, and using/disposing of tissues followed by hand washing.
I will keep our community well informed and will provide you with updates about this situation and any potential changes to our schedule. More information about this specific coronavirus from the CDC can be found here. Helpful articles regarding talking to children about the coronavirus can be found here and here.
As always, let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your care and attention to these efforts, and please join me in sending all of our best wishes to those who are affected, around the world.
Head of School