While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, in the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, we are aware of concerns in the community about the spread of this relatively new virus.
District leaders are closely monitoring the situation and are following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the New York State Education Department and our local county health departments.
On Saturday, March 7, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York, which gives the state certain purchasing and hiring abilities during this time. This declaration does not impact any school district activities. Additionally, experts have not recommended that school districts in our region cancel or reschedule events or classes at this time.
State officials continue to emphasize that the general risk to the public is low and that while we all need to be vigilant and cautious, it is also important to stay calm and not contribute to any undue panic.
There are, however, a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
The following tips are provided by the NYSDOH:
- 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.
Broadalbin-Perth has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout our facilities, to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses.
If you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, and follow their advice.
If district leaders become aware that a Broadalbin-Perth student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will notify staff, parents and guardians. If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, we will follow our current practices for handling respiratory illnesses, subject to any additional guidance we receive.
Regarding travel and quarantine measures, please know that the New York State Department of Health has made quarantine a mandatory measure for individuals returning to the U.S. from known high-risk exposure areas. Based on this, any student, student family member or employee who has traveled to a known high-risk exposure area should notify the school principal prior to coming to school, as well as the county health department.
Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness.