While the Monticello Central School District does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in our schools, we are aware of concerns in the community about the spread of this relatively new virus. Please know that the district is closely monitoring this fluid situation and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Sullivan County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.
What we are doing:
The district has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses. Since last week, our facilities team has been sanitizing and disinfecting all surfaces in each school daily, using the Profexus Electrostatic Sprayer and a solution of chlorinated disinfecting tablets and water. We will begin also sanitizing our buses daily with this tool, as well spraying over the weekends. This solution is applied according to the manufacturer’s specifications, evaporates quickly and kills a number of germs, including those associated with the COVID-19. In addition, we will continue to explore new strategies as guidance from the Department of Health unfolds.
There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The district is prepared to work with any affected families. If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, we will follow our current practices for handling respiratory illnesses, subject to any additional guidance forthcoming. If the district becomes aware that a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, it will immediately notify staff and parents/guardians. Local health departments will contact schools if a suspected or known COVID-19 case emerges.
If you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, and follow their advice.
When to stay home
As always, please keep your child home from school if they display any of the following symptoms, which indicate a communicable illness:
- A fever in the past 24 hours
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea in the past 24 hours
- Sore throat
- Strep throat (must be taking an antibiotic for at least 24 hours before returning to school)
- Bad cold, with a very runny nose or bad cough, especially if it has kept the child awake at night
For future guidance:
The NYS Department of Health maintains a robust webpage that contains up-to-the-minute updates about this rapidly evolving situation, accessible by visiting: https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/index.htm.
The state has also established a coronavirus hotline that residents may call with questions 1-888-364-3065. We encourage our residents to take advantage of these resources to learn more about the most recent developments concerning the COVID-19.
Families are also encouraged to follow the CDC’s information for travel, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
For more information, consider consulting these additional resources:
- Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
- COVID-19: What is Stigma and What Causes It?
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Frequently Asked Questions – Prevention
- Prevention, Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this, and other illness.
Dr. William Silver
Interim Superintendent of Schools