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Confirmed COVID Cases at Brien McMahon High School and the Center for Global Studies

New Confirmed COVID Cases
Posted on 10/16/2020
NPS

As of 5pm today, Norwalk Public Schools has been notified of 11 new confirmed COVID cases over the past 24 hours. The affected people have been instructed to remain home in self-isolation and have been provided with additional instructions to follow prior to returning to school. Family members have also been instructed to contact their healthcare provider about getting tested.

Contact and exposure tracing has been completed for all known cases, meaning that anyone known to have been exposed to a confirmed positive case has already been contacted. We are awaiting information on results from additional tests that we know people have taken.

As you know, the district has comprehensive health and safety protocols in place. Only two of the identified cases involve individuals who have recently been present on a school campus. However, exposure outside our buildings do have an impact on our schools. Over 60 students and staff members have been directed to quarantine based on these confirmed cases throughout the district. 

At least six confirmed cases involve members of the Brien McMahon High School and Center for Global Studies school communities. These are not exposures that occurred at school. Contact tracing indicates that they appear to be connected to weekend social gatherings and a non-school related scavenger hunt that took place during the week. If your child may have been present at a group event outside of school, check with your healthcare provider about whether a test may be recommended. The City of Norwalk is also offering free drive-thru COVID-19 testing tomorrow, Saturday, October 17 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Stepping Stones Museum parking lot, 303 West Avenue. No appointment, insurance, or doctor’s note is required to get tested.

Both McMahon and the Center for Global Studies were on full remote learning today. All extracurricular activities, athletics and music have been canceled for BMHS and CGS students through the weekend. A decision about school at McMahon and CGS will be made over the weekend. Please watch your email on Sunday for the latest information.

While Connecticut has been a model for other states in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, we know that the threat from COVID-19 will not go away easily. In recent days, we have seen a rise in confirmed cases in Norwalk. Below are some important reminders about COVID-19 symptoms and ways to keep your family healthy:

COVID-19 is spread mainly via person-to-person contact through contaminated air droplets from coughing and sneezing by an infected person. As with controlling the spread of other viruses, we urge everyone to discuss the following preventive measures with your children and family members:

  • Wash your hands frequently, but especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and hot water, wash for about 20 seconds. Be sure to also wash your fingertips. When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze inside the elbow of your arm.
  • As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • Wear a face covering (mask) whenever there is a likelihood that you or your family members will be in the presence of others.
  • Maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet) between yourself and others when outside of your home.

Below is the list of COVID-19 symptoms for which everyone should monitor in their family members:

  • Fever (100.4° Fahrenheit or higher)
  • Chills or shaking chills
  • Uncontrolled new cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell

For additional information on COVID-19 symptoms, please see:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Staff and students exhibiting any of the above symptoms, or feeling ill, should remain home and call their medical provider to report their symptoms and ask about testing prior to seeking in-person care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital. For more information on what to do if you or a family member has possible symptoms, a diagnosis, or exposure to COVID-19, please see Addendum 5: Interim Guidance for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios in Connecticut School Districts, available here:

https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/COVID19/COVID-19-Resources-for-Families-and-Educators/Addendums-and-FAQs

We are closely monitoring this situation and working with our Norwalk Health Director Deanna D’Amore and the District’s Medical Advisor Dr. Norman Weinberger. We will provide you with updates as needed. If you have questions about your child or school, please your school principal directly.