Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,
Today we were advised that a parent in our community has been asked to self-quarantine by the Department of Health due to possible exposure to the Coronavirus. Once we became aware, we immediately contacted the New York State Department of Health for guidance and were advised that closing school or discontinuing large group activities are not warranted at this time as this individual is considered very low risk, is asymptomatic and is being quarantined out of an abundance of caution. We were also advised that the Department of Health has not placed any restrictions on members of the individual's immediate family.
We have been implementing enhanced cleaning protocols in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which includes routinely sanitizing high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, hand railings, desks, bathrooms, gym equipment, etc. with cleaning materials that are most effective against the virus. Additionally, our facilities team is now using pump sprayers to apply diluted bleach solution as per CDC standards.
To reiterate, the Department of Health does not advise we close our schools at this time, though we continue to prepare for that possibility. The District is also putting plans in place to limit hours of evening events in the coming week to provide our facilities staff additional time to deep clean. Those impacted by these measures will be notified directly.
Please know that we are in regular communication with the Department of Health as well as the individual in quarantine to ensure that we have the most up to date information and are taking appropriate action to protect our students.
From our conversations with local and state officials, as well as discussions with other area superintendents, it is clear that school districts and other organizations are seeing additional individuals being asked to quarantine as testing for the virus increases and contacts of positive cases are tracked. We will continue to communicate with the Department of Health and state officials and take appropriate action as the situation evolves.
As a reminder, we ask that you please keep your children home if they are sick (District guidelines require that students who have a fever greater than 100.0 degrees F. must stay home until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the help of a fever reducer) and consult a doctor if you are concerned about you or your child's symptoms. Additionally, if you or your children are asked by the Department of Health or other government organizations to quarantine, please contact your school principal as soon as possible.
We will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. Please also know that all of our updates are available along with a variety of resources on the District's dedicated Coronavirus webpage.
Cheryl H. Champ
Superintendent of Schools