A message from Superintendent Brian Monahan on the district’s coronavirus preparedness

This letter was first published on the district’s website on Feb. 28; but as part of our ongoing commitment to continue to keep our school community informed, we are again bringing this and other recent posts on the coronavirus and the district’s preparedness to your attention.  

Feb. 28: Useful information from the New York State Departments of Health and Education on the  coronavirus

Feb. 6: Initial guidance communication from the New York State Department of Health and Education on the coronavirus 

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource

 

Minisink Valley logo

Dear Parents/Guardians:

While Orange County does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), we know our school community may be concerned  about the spread of this relatively new virus, particularly as media outlets continue to report about it.

Minisink Valley 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), the Orange County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.  Please know the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.

As part of our regular procedures, and particularly because this is flu season, Minisink Valley has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout our buildings, to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses.

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 Orange County Health Department will contact schools if a suspected or known COVID-19 case emerges. The district is prepared to work with any affected families.

Here’s some additional useful resources:

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

COVID-19: What is Stigma and What Causes It?
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fstigma-faq.html

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Frequently Asked Questions – Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#prevention

Prevention, Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

In addition, New York State has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline, which can provide additional information: 888-364-3065.

The district will continue to share information as it becomes available.  We will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness and all other illnesses, and we appreciate your attention to the information we are providing.

Sincerely,
Brian C. Monahan
Superintendent