All MA Schools to Close through at Least April 7
WESTPORT — Westport Community Schools would like to notify parents about Governor Charlie Baker’s announcement Sunday night to close all public and private schools statewide until April 7 and provide information about the importance of social distancing during this time.
Westport Community Schools will be following the mandate put forth by Gov. Baker’s office and schools in Westport will remain closed until April 7.
“By following guidelines set by local and state public health officials we are doing our part to enact social distancing and protect our students and staff,” said Superintendent Gary Reese. “We will continue to monitor the situation and share information as it becomes available.”
The reason for the continued closure of schools is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to practice and promote social distancing.
Parents should be sure to talk to their children about proper hygiene and prevention methods and about the importance of social distancing until further guidelines are provided by state officials about the status of the virus.
Social distancing — maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from other people — has proven effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Families should practice social distancing with their children and follow these guidelines from state and local health officials:
- Families should not hold “play dates” and those in need of childcare should limit the number of families involved as much as possible.
- Practice social distancing techniques with children and have them practice among themselves
- Clean and sanitize toys, video game controllers and all touch surfaces regularly
Social distancing will help to minimize exposure among people, especially given that COVID-19 is highly contagious and people may be contagious prior to exhibiting symptoms.
As the weather continues to improve, outdoor gatherings are viewed as safer, but social distancing techniques should still be practiced, and all sports/recreation equipment and toys should be cleaned regularly.
Teens are included in this group, and activities like bike riding and hiking/walking are viewed as safer alternatives to gathering at movie theaters, retail stores and other indoor venues.
Symptoms of COVID-19 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.
School officials also wish 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.