With the recent news of confirmed cases of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus in the Hudson Valley, Liberty Central School District officials are continuing to monitor information from local, state and federal officials.
Health officials emphasize that the general risk to the public remains low but we all need to be vigilant and cautious. There are many steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. The NYS Department of Health urges the following:
- Wash your hands often 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 a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
LCSD school nurses, teachers, and other faculty members are regularly reminding students about the importance of the above measures. Additionally, our custodial and maintenance teams are sanitizing our schools daily. High touch areas – such as door handles, handrails and elevator buttons – are cleaned and sanitized several times each school day. Rolling V, the district’s transportation company, has also stepped-up cleaning protocols and is sanitizing school buses every day.
Meanwhile, the district is preparing to meet the needs of our students and staff in the event the virus affects our community. Should a student or staff member be diagnosed with or presumed to have come in contact with COVID-19, it is anticipated that the district will close the effected buildings for 1-2 days to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect. The district is also prepared to provide students with classwork and is reviewing methods of remote instruction should an extended closure be necessary.
In the event of a school closure related to COVID-19, the district will first use our remaining “snow days.”
The state Department of Health has made quarantine mandatory for individuals returning to the U.S. from a known high-risk exposure area. Based on this, any Liberty student, family member or employee who has traveled to such an area should notify the school principal before coming to school. If the district becomes aware that a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19 we will notify staff and parents.
Please also note that exposure to COVID-19 can occur from any person-to-person contact and is not limited to a particular race or ethnicity.
More information about COVID-19 is available from the state Department of Health.
We appreciate the support of our Liberty families and will share more information as it becomes available. As always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness.
Dr. Augustine Tornatore
Superintendent of Schools