Capital Region officials are continuing to monitor information from local, state and federal officials concerning the confirmed cases of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on March 16 that, due to ongoing public health concerns related to COVID-19/Coronavirus, all schools in New York state will be closed to students for two weeks, effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
This means that the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD will be closed to students through Tuesday, March 31, with an expected return on April 1, 2020. We are closely monitoring the situation at the state and local level, and will let you know if that closure needs to be extended.
State officials continue to emphasize that we all need to be vigilant and cautious, it is also important to stay calm and not contribute to any undue panic.
For now, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your children continues to be following standard preventive practices for influenza. There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the New York State Department of Health:
- 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. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
- 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.
It is important to 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 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
For more information about travel and the coronavirus, please visit the Center for Disease Control’s web page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html
The state Department of Health also has information available on its website, including a coronavirus hotline: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/. You can call the hotline at 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms.
The RCS District has continued to increase measures to clean high-traffic areas within school buildings and on buses, while enforcing statewide protocol on up-to-date cleaning methods in the school district. This includes:
- Cleaning high-contact areas that are touched by many different people (e.g. handrails and door knobs)
- Dusting, wet mopping and/or scrubbing floors
- Vacuuming of entryways and high traffic areas
- Removing trash
- Wiping heat vents
- Spot cleaning walls and carpets
- Cleaning the interior of buses
Additionally, special attention is being given to high-risk locations such as health offices, lunchrooms, library/lab areas and athletic/locker rooms.
We recognize that this situation is fluid and rapidly evolving. We are doing due diligence in preparation to clean and follow proper guidance from the Center for Disease Control, the state Department of Health, New York State Education Department and the Albany County Department of Health.
The District continues to conduct internal meetings with key staff, participates in weekly calls with area leaders and health officials and continues to utilize resources from State/Federal webinar updates.
Please know that, 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. We appreciate your support of our district and will share more information as it becomes available.
Dr. Brian Bailey, Superintendent