Good Evening Springfield School District students, families, and staff,
This is Zach McLaughlin, the Superintendent of Schools, calling to inform you that today our school district team began investigating multiple cases of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) within both the Riverside Middle School and Union Street School communities. After consulting with the Vermont Department of Health, we are recommending that certain members of our school community quarantine. At this point, we have both identified and have reached out to all members of the school community who have been asked to quarantine in line with Department of Health guidelines.
Tomorrow, both schools will be open to students and staff that don’t need to quarantine.
Two important points tonight. First, if your child is experiencing COVID-like symptoms, even mild ones, please do not send them to school.
Second, I want to make it clear that members of our school community who are vaccinated and a close contact do not need to quarantine in these situations. Instead, vaccinated students and staff would just need to monitor for symptoms. In light of this and our desire to provide students with the education they deserve, we strongly encourage all school community members ages 12 and older to get vaccinated. We are including a link to available vaccination clinics in tonight’s email.
We recommend that you take action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, even if your child is not experiencing symptoms.
The most important things you can do:
- Get vaccinated - anyone age 12 and older is eligible. Info on free vaccine clinics here.
- Make sure your child is wearing a mask.
- Make sure your child is washing their hands.
- Keep your child home if they are sick.
- Get tested if you or your child has symptoms of COVID-19.
- If you have been identified as a close contact and it has been recommended to quarantine then do not come to school
People who may have been exposed will be notified: While we work with the Department of Health in our investigation, out of an abundance of caution, anyone who was in close contact with the person who may be positive may have been exposed to the virus and will be asked to quarantine, which means staying home and away from other people for up to 14 days. Read more about what it means to quarantine here. If this individual ends up not becoming a confirmed case of COVID-19, all those who were advised to quarantine will be released from quarantine.
If you are identified as someone who may have been exposed, someone from either Springfield School District or the Health Department will notify you and will provide information and guidance on quarantine and other recommendations. If the Health Department calls, make sure to answer the phone or call them back.
What is COVID-19?
A new coronavirus causes COVID-19, which is an illness that was discovered in 2019. Coronaviruses are a type of virus that are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are many kinds of coronaviruses including some that cause respiratory illnesses, like the common cold. The specific symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads mainly from having close contact with someone who has a COVID-19 infection. The virus is thought to spread by droplets from person to person when they speak, cough, or sneeze. Droplets travel less than 6 feet. When droplets from another person get in your mouth or nose you can inhale into your lungs. This virus can be spread by people without symptoms.
How can parents and guardians help prevent COVID-19 from spreading?
- If your child is sick, keep them home.
- Make sure members of your household wash their hands often using soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Make sure every member of your household covers their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their elbow, and then washes their hands afterwards.
- Wear a mask in public when you cannot stay 6 feet apart from other people.
We are working with the Health Department to keep our community safe.
- We cleaned and disinfected per the Health Department guidance.
- Sick employees and children will not return to work until they are healthy.
- Learn about the Health Department’s response when someone tests positive for COVID-19.
Learn more about getting tested in Vermont.
Thank you for understanding that, due to medical privacy laws, we are not able to release the names of any individuals with COVID-19 or anyone directed to quarantine. We will continue to do our best to keep your students and our staff safe as we navigate the Delta variant.
I hope that we all will continue to be diligent. The Delta variant of the virus has lead to an increase in COVID spread in the region. As a district, we are working hard to keep students in school five days a week to the education and care they deserve. In order to be successful, we need families’ help.
Thanks for your time. I hope you and your family have a good rest of the evening.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at the Central Office.