Director's Column: Coronavirus - Prevention and Preparedness in Our Community

Many of us have been following the news of the spread of the Coronavirus, and, although I believe there is no immediate risk to the Bowen community, I wanted to communicate the actions we are taking to prevent infection, how you can help us prevent infection, and our plans if someone in our community, or the greater Newton community, tests positive. We have been following, and will continue to follow, the guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and Newton Public Schools. You can find more information at: www.newtonma.gov/gov/health_n_human_services/public/covid_19.asp www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

www.newton.k12.ma.us/ Teachers are disinfecting surfaces with more frequency, all classrooms have hand sanitizer, and all teachers are reinforcing proper handwashing techniques. In addition, our building is professionally cleaned every other day.

Please remember that many of the things you do to prevent flu and colds can help protect you against other respiratory viruses: -Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. -Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available. -Cover coughs and sneezes. -Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. -Keep anyone home that is sick. -Be fever free for at least 24 hours (without fever-reducing medicine) before returning to school. If you are planning any travel, the CDC has issued specific warnings, restricting non-essential travel to specific countries. If your family or someone you know has traveled to one of these countries recently, please contact your physician. This check-in will help your child and our community.

Our hope is that we will be able to stay open, but, if Newton Public Schools decides to close in entirety, we will close. If a particular school or schools close, we will assess the risk to Bowen and act accordingly, taking an abundance of caution. If a member of our community tests positive, we will close, in order to clean and disinfect the building, and we will work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and The Department of Early Education and Care to determine when it is safe to reopen. Stay safe and healthy! Best, Nina


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