Rochester Schools to go Online from March 17-27
City Manager Blaine Cox and Superintendent Kyle Repucci wish to provide residents with updated information on COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, as federal and state officials continue to monitor the virus internationally.
The World Health Organization deemed COVID-19 a global pandemic this week and earlier today President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the outbreak.
Rochester Public Schools will be closed for students for a teacher in-service day on Monday, March 16. From Tuesday, March 17 until Friday, March 27, schools will utilize remote learning for students. Information about the coursework will be sent out by teachers in the coming days.
School officials are working with the state and their food service provider to create breakfast and lunch options for students with free or reduced lunch plans. More information will be available on Monday.
School extracurricular activities, including the Spaulding High School Production of the Music Man and all athletic events, have been postponed until further notice.
“This decision was made after careful deliberation due to the impact we know it will have on the daily lives of students and their parents,” Superintendent Repucci said. “This is being done out of an abundance of caution in order to keep our students and community safe. We will continue to monitor and reassess the situation, and will share information with the community as it becomes available.”
At this time, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) is reporting that there are six positive cases of the virus in the state. There are no cases of the virus confirmed in Rochester and the risk of contracting the virus for those in New Hampshire remains low.
Residents are encouraged to practice social distancing, and older adults or anyone with chronic medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are advised to avoid large crowds, as these groups have been identified as being at a higher risk.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide residents with information as it becomes available,” City Manager Cox said. “The risk of contracting the virus remains low and we’re encouraging residents to take the same hygienic steps we always share during the flu season.”
Town and School District officials are closely following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NH DHHS to prevent the spread of the virus.
As with every flu season, the school district is additionally continuing to thoroughly clean and disinfect each school facility.
The novel coronavirus has sparked an outbreak of respiratory disease with symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure including fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and information indicates that most COVID-19 illness is mild. If someone is displaying symptoms, they should not come to work or school and they are advised to contact their primary care physician.
The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and new information and guidelines are being posted by the CDC on a regular basis. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads.
In an effort to prevent the spread of flu, colds and other respiratory illnesses, residents should follow the recommended actions from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services:
- For a minimum of 20 seconds, wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
- When you have a fever or are ill, stay home from work or school
CDC is advising asymptomatic travelers from countries with a Level 3 travel advisory to stay home and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the United States. Travelers from countries with a Level 2 travel advisory are to be advised to monitor their health and limit interactions at large gatherings with others for 14 days after returning to the United States.
For more information, visit the NH DHHS website by clicking here and the CDC’s website by clicking here. Parents are also encouraged to use this resource to learn more about how to talk to their children about the Coronavirus situation.