NATICK – This afternoon, March 8, at 2 p.m. Natick Superintendent of Schoola Anna Nolin and Jim White, Director of the Natick Board of Health, learned a Natick resident received a presumed positive test for COVID-19 and that this individual has children who attend Natick High School.
“We were also notified that both students are healthy and not exhibiting any symptoms and were directed to remain out of school. Additionally, the family made a decision to keep the students out of school prior to this becoming a presumptive case,” said the two in an email to the school community.
“The children and family are following the quarantine protocol from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) until cleared to return to school,” the two wrote.
The quarantine protocal is 14 days. More than 700 individuals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are currently under quarantine.
Massachusetts health officials announced today, there are 28 total cases in the state. The state said “Presumptive Positive” results from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are now awaiting official results from the Centers for Disease Control.
“Out of an abundance of caution we made the proactive decision to close Natick High today (March 8) and allow for a second thorough cleaning and sanitation round for every classroom and space throughout the building. This second cleaning will conclude by midnight tonight. All custodians involved used recommended protective gear while cleaning,” said the superintendent of schools and Natick’s health director to school families.
“A message was sent to the Natick High School community at large about the school closure due to the large numbers of clinics, SAT prep and practices that were anticipated for this evening, and the large number of community members who often seek to use the track and site in general,” said the two Town of Natick leaders.
“We are planning for an on-time opening of all schools on Monday, March 9, 2020 as are neighboring town schools and communities who are handling the same scenario we are experiencing, wrote the two.
“We will continue to track and trend illness in all of the schools. Anyone who is ill should remain at home and we ask that you please consult with your primary care physician if you have any questions or concerns about sending your child to school,” wrote the Superintendent of Schools and the Town’s health director.
Plan for cleaning impacted buildings and buses
The joint Town and School Facilities Department is conducting deep cleaning and disinfecting at all schools daily in keeping with the protocol described in the Friday, March 6 email from the public school district.
Deep cleaning on buses is also occurring, said the superintendent.
” It should be noted that the custodians have already been using this equipment and enhanced cleaning protocol in all schools as we do every flu season In addition to our buildings,” wrote the two in today’s announcement.
Cancellation of international trips
The school district has canceled all international trips scheduled for Spring 2020.
Families with children who were participating in these trips are working with their trip’s teacher to manage reimbursements and vouchers.
The Massachusetts School Superintendent Association is compiling a list of districts affected by such trip cancellations.
Framingham High and the Christa McAuliffe Charter School has also postponed or cancelled international travel.
“Today as we worked to help dismiss elementary students from a basketball clinic at NHS, many of them did not have an emergency contact number memorized; please work with your young children to memorize such a number (this has nothing to do with this virus, but may be important in an emergency of any type),” wrote the Superintendent of Schools and the Health Director.
“Anytime there is an outbreak of a virus or illness, it can be very unsettling for families and staff, therefore keeping everyone informed, safe and healthy remains our priority. We share this information in the interest of full transparency so families can make decisions accordingly,” wrote the two leaders.
Although the risk to Massachusetts residents of the coronavirus is low, the risk for influenza is currently high. Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.