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Resources for parents on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on February 27, 2020

The following is a message from Superintendent Jody Monroe:

Dear Parent/Guardian:

The Bethlehem Central School District is closely monitoring daily developments regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Like all New York school districts, Bethlehem relies on guidance from state and federal agencies, including the New York state Department of Education (SED), the New York state Department of Health (DOH) and the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) when addressing evolving public health issues like coronavirus. Though we do not have any diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in our community, we are closely following the guidance these agencies are providing and will continue to do so.

Based on recent reports, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York state at this time.

The school district has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout our schools, 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.

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.

Please be assured the district stays in constant contact with experts at the Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) who help guide a school district’s communication and response whenever any member of the community tests positive for a disease that poses a public health risk. The ACDOH is our first and most important partner in developing a comprehensive public health plan to ensure we are prepared if any cases of the new coronavirus do arise in our community.

Families are also encouraged to bookmark and follow these important resources:

In addition, New York state has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065, staffed by the NYS Department of Health, to answer questions about COVID-19. The hotline is available daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The district will continue to share information and resources as they become available.

Sincerely,

Jody Monroe

Superintendent of Schools