Cleaning and disinfecting protocols are being followed by the Ridgefield Public Schools and its busing contractor in response to concerns about he coronavirus, as well as the seasonal flu, School Superintendent Dr. JeanAnne Paddyfote said in a statement to the public Friday, Feb. 28.

“Dear Parents and Staff,” her message reads, “I am writing in response to the recent media briefing by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and I want to assure you that we are staying updated on the Coronavirus status in Connecticut and our community. Our school district is following guidance from the Ridgefield Department of Public Health under the direction of Mr. Ed Briggs, the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

“Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person and is a specific virus in a large family of viruses. The CDC website has valuable information and can be accessed via this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

“As noted in the materials on the CDC website, there is currently no vaccine to prevent Coronavirus. The CDC recommends “everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.” The CDC prevention measures include the following:

● “Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

● “Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

● “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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

● “CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

● “Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

“We continue to implement our seasonal influenza protocols in our schools. These protocols follow the CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting Schools. In addition, our bus contractor, First Student, is implementing similar protocols to clean buses.

“If a student or employee is not feeling well and is experiencing flu-like symptoms, call your doctor. Parents be sure to reach out to your child’s school nurse should you have concerns about your child’s health, or to communicate an absence due to illness. If your child is sick, the best advice is to keep your child home. Employees should report their illness to a supervisor.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the Ridgefield Department of Public Health, and the First Selectmen’s Office to ensure we are sharing consistent information with families, employees and community members. We will provide updates as necessary.

“If you have any questions, please contact the school nurse, or the district’s School Health Coordinator, Mr. Aaron Crook RN at acrook@ridgefieldps.net.”