Wakefield MA– Superintendent David DiBarri wishes to provide students, parents, and guardians with updated information on the 2019 new coronavirus (COVID-19) as federal and state health officials continue to monitor the spread of the virus internationally.
There are currently 95 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10. At this time, there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus in the school.
Northeast Metro Tech is open and functioning on its normal schedule.
Northeast Metro Tech leadership has been closely following guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and school officials are working together to coordinate response plans, resources and communication should a case of the virus be suspected or confirmed.
At this time, Northeast Metro Tech leadership is exercising extreme caution by canceling school events, such as all scheduled school field trips, sponsored dances and events, and conferences. Meeting and event capacities will be limited as well to avoid large crowds, per DPH recommendations.
Measures will be put in place to accommodate students who may need to stay home due to illness.
As with every flu season, Northeast Metro Tech has been regularly conducting thorough disinfecting and cleaning efforts within school facilities. School buildings are being cleaned and disinfected along with desks, chairs, light switches, door pushes, pencil sharpeners, fitness equipment, lockers, conference tables, lavatories, faculty rooms, offices, all floors and more. Deep cleaning is scheduled for Friday, March 13 after school hours.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear 2-14 days of exposure. The DPH reports that symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and pneumonia in severe cases.
Parents and guardians are reminded that, in an effort to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as respiratory viruses and gastrointestinal illnesses, students need to be free from fever, vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to school if they have been sick.
Northeast Metro Tech officials will continue to monitor the situation and proceed in a way that both minimizes the disruption to students’ learning while ensuring the wellness of the school community.
The DPH recommends that residents continue with good hygiene practices including:
- Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
For more information, visit the DPH website by clicking here and the CDC’s website by clicking here.
Additional updates will be released if additional relevant information becomes available from the Northeast Metro Tech School District.