Hello WPS Families,
Unfortunately, with the start of school and the beginning of flu and cold season we are likely to see an increase in children coming down with illnesses including common seasonal viruses, rhinovirus and enterovirus, Covid-19, and influenza.
Infants and children may be particularly susceptible to seasonal respiratory viral infections during the 2023-2024 fall and winter because they have had limited previous exposure to these respiratory viruses.
We want to remind parents and families about steps to take to prevent illness and stay this season:
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups or utensils with others.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and mobile devices.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, and eyes with unwashed hands.
- If you or your child are not feeling well avoid social gatherings.
- Keep children home from daycare or school who have fever (100.4), especially with
cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, congestion, runny nose, or sore throat until children are fever-free for 24 hours without medications that reduce fever and cough is controlled.
We are continuing to follow Covid-19 protocols as recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
Which requires 5 days of isolation after symptoms begin or after the first positive test, whichever is earlier. Students may leave isolation and return to school on day 6 if their symptoms are resolved or are resolving with no fever for at least 24 hours. It is recommended that students continue masking through day 10.
We are taking precautions in school to prevent the spread of illness such as:
- Disinfection surfaces throughout the day and after school ends.
- Having students wash their hands frequently, especially prior to eating, after using the restroom, after sneezing, coughing, or wiping/blowing their nose.
- Reminding students to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Encouraging parents to keep children home from school if they are not feeling well.
We appreciate your support at home in keeping our children and community healthy during this time. As always, please reach out to your school nurse for any questions or concerns.
Fawne StPierre RN, MSN
Supervisor of Health and Safety
Westfield Public Schools