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Southbridge Public Schools to Close for an Initial Period of Two Weeks: Letter From Dr. Villar, Rece

Please note: For all updates, information, and resources about Covid-19, visit our dedicated page for Covid-19 information from the district. This can be found in the "For Families" drop-down menu or by visiting https://www.southbridgepublic.org/covid-19-resources

March 14, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,

For some time now we have been communicating our need to work closely with our local health officials to determine our best response to the Covid-19 virus. Today the Southbridge Board of Health has voted to close Southbridge Public Schools for an initial period of two weeks, to begin Monday, March 16. At or before the end of the two weeks, we will revisit this decision based on the best known medical information at that time. We will inform you promptly of any decision that is made to close schools beyond the two-week period of time.

School Administration will meet on Monday to plan for the provision of food and possibly other services to the children of Southbridge. We will also determine plans in regards providing clear direction to all employees in regards to reporting to work.

All current information about Covid-19 and school closures can be found on a dedicated page on our website, www.SouthbridgePublic.org. Additionally, I will be in touch with staff by email with any updates as they become available.

Preventive measures, such as washing your hands, remain the best line of defense for individuals and communities. If you are not able to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer. Cover any cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands), stay away from people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick.

Our official communications channels are your best source of information. These include the district website and emails received from school and district leadership.

For more information on the coronavirus, please see the attached fact sheet from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health both in English and in Spanish.

The State of Massachusetts also provides detailed information about the current outbreak of Covid-19, or the coronavirus on the Mass.gov website (mass.gov)

You can also get updates and information about Covid-19 from the Centers for Disease Control website (CDC.gov).

Thank you for your continued dedication to the children of Southbridge.

Regards,

Jeffrey A. Villar, Ph.D.

Receiver/Superintendent Southbridge Public School

Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control.

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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