From the Superintendent's Desk
Mark Tucker, M.A. - Caledonia Central Supervisory Union
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update March 8, 2020
What is New
Public health officials in Vermont reported the first Presumptive Positive case of COVID-19 infection in Vermont yesterday evening (3/7). According to this morning's news conference, "Presumptive Positive" means that a person presented with a positive result on a locally-administered COVID-19 test, and according to CDC protocol that test result will be confirmed by a CDC laboratory. If confirmed by the CDC, the word presumptive will be dropped.
In the meantime, according to Dr. Mark Levine, Vermont's Health Commissioner, the public health system has responded with its planned protocols, first to treat the affected person but also to conduct contact tracing. In simple terms, this means efforts are underway to identify every person this affected individual has had contact with in recent days and weeks, to determine how this person was infected and who else s/he may have infected, if anyone. According to Governor Scott and Dr. Levine, the actions by Vermont's Public Health System reflect plans that have been developed over the past few weeks while Vermont prepared for the eventual arrival of COVID-19 in Vermont.
The affected person has not been identified, but is in medical isolation at Southwest Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, undergoing treatment. While not being specific about his or her condition, Dr. Levine did state that the fact this individual is hospitalized is unusual, as he continues to believe that most eventual cases of COVID-19 - 80% or more - will not require treatment in a hospital; these cases will be reasonably mild and treatable at home.
What to Do
There are no changes to the advice concerning transmission avoidance and treatment that I shared with you last weekend, repeated below:
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- 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 your sleeve or a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
You can continue to get the latest updates from the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus as a resource for answers to your questions.
There are no immediate changes to our response plans in our schools. I will let you know if and when changes occur. I do want to remind all that if you or your children are ill, especially if you are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness (sneezing, coughing, etc.) then you should stay home or keep your child at home. We will continue to share the most recent advice as we receive it.
Mark Tucker, M.A.
Superintendent, Caledonia Central SU
Note: This is the second in a series of newsletters as we learn about the the impact of Coronavirus in our schools and communities.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this newsletter is meant to substitute for medical advice from your family practitioner