NORFOLK — Superintendent Paul Zinni announces that all King Philip Regional School District schools will close tomorrow as a precaution against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The closure of schools is a proactive step by the school district to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 and it mirrors steps being taken in school districts throughout the state.
King Philip schools will be closed Friday, March 13 and a decision about the coming weeks will be made by the end of the week. Further guidelines are expected from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on Friday.
“We do not come to this decision lightly, however, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our students and staff healthy and safe,” Superintendent Zinni said. “Several school districts throughout the state are taking the same precautions, including some of our close neighbors. The coronavirus situation is one that is fluid and we have to be able to react accordingly. Closing school tomorrow will give us more time to weigh our options going forward.”
While students and educators are out of the building, custodial staff will conduct a comprehensive and thorough disinfecting and sanitizing effort throughout the school buildings. This effort is in addition to the daily cleaning regimen the district has implemented in recent weeks in light of the virus and as is customary during flu season.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and can appear between two and 14 days after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anyone who experiences symptoms and believes they may have the virus is advised to contact their health care provider. For more information from the CDC for those who may have the virus, click here.
Superintendent Zinni also wishes to encourage students and staff to follow recommended preventative steps from the DPH:
- Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.