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And The COVID Keeps Coming: Here We Go Again

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Oct 192020
 

On Friday and again today, Amity Supt. Jenn Byars sent “The Letter” out to the Amity Community.

Here’s Today’s version:

On Sunday, October 18, 2020, Amity Regional School District No. 5 was notified that a member of our school community has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The affected person has been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 10 days and has been provided with additional instructions to follow prior to returning to school. Family members have also been instructed to self-quarantine and get tested.

The last day this person was in Amity Regional High School was Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Anyone who is considered a “close contact” with this person has been contacted or will be contacted by local health officials and provided with instructions on the appropriate steps to take. If you are not contacted by the local health department, then you/your student is not considered a close contact.

To assist the schools and the health district with contact tracing, we are asking parents to please go into PowerSchool to update the PRIMARY contact information. Directions for updating PowerSchool information are included in this SwiftK12 message. For timely contact tracing, it is critical that a primary phone number is a number where a parent/guardian can be reached quickly. We thank you for your assistance with this.

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 a 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

Everyone is reminded that 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 the Orange Health Department and Quinnipiack Valley Health District. At this time, health officials are not recommending aclosure of school. We will provide you with updates if the situation changes.

Sincerely,

Jenn Byars

Amity Supt: Another Case Of COVID At Amity High

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Oct 122020
 

Corona Virus from CDC.gov

A Message from the Amity Superintendent

Dear Amity Community Members:

On Sunday, October 11, 2020, Amity Regional School District No. 5 was notified that a member of our school community has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The affected person has been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 10 days and has been provided with additional instructions to follow prior to returning to school. Family members have also been instructed to self-quarantine and get tested.

The last day this person was in Amity Regional High School was Thursday, October 8, 2020. Anyone who is considered a “close contact” with this person has been contacted or will be contacted by local health officials and provided with instructions on the appropriate steps to take.

On behalf of the Orange Health Department and Quinnipiack Valley Health District, I have been asked to remind our entire Amity community about the necessity to act in a responsible and safe manner. This is not limited to our time in school, but also our time outside of school. In social gatherings, the need to practice health safety – including the use of face coverings, physical distancing, and hand hygiene, continue to be paramount. 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 a chronic cough)

❑ Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

❑ New loss of taste or smell

————————————

COVID 19 INFO:

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

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

Everyone is reminded that 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 monitoring this situation and working with the Orange Health Department and Quinnipiack Valley Health District. At this time, health officials are not recommending a closure of school. We will provide you with updates if the situation changes.
Sincerely,

Jenn Byars

Opinion: How Has the Pandemic Changed Everyday Life?

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Apr 082020
 

On Friday, March 13 — Yes, Friday the 13th — I went to my granddaughter’s school to pick her up for the last time. Thirty minutes later, my daughter called to tell me that school would be closed until the end of March, and I dropped my granddaughter off, saying goodbye with a huge hug, not knowing that it was the last hug I would get from her in a LOOOOONG time.

My daughter, who works in a doctor’s office, told me to stay home, no trips to the store or random visits and that I would NOT be caring for my granddaughter during the isolation period. She arranged to take her to work, seclude her in an office to do homework or go to her grandfather’s house or stay with her father, but I wouldn’t be involved, as I had been for the past 8 years, due to my age and health conditions that put me in the high-risk group.

I thought that I’d be able to at least go to the zoo and take photos since most of the animals are outdoors, but that idea was squashed on Monday, March 16, when Zoo Director Gregg Dancho announced that for the safety of the animals (which we have since learned was a wise decision), staff, and fellow zoogoers, the Beardsley Zoo would be closed until further notice.

I found with the isolation I finally had enough time to knit hats and scarves, mass-produce resin items (jewelry, paperweights, plaques, bookmarks, etc.) for my granddaughter’s school fair and binge-watch my favorite tv shows and of course, the Hallmark movies. Now I’m making face masks, sewing by hand since the power cord for the sewing machine was not in the box when I pulled it out.

I bonded even more with the newest rescue dog, Tori, who came from an abusive situation in South Korea in March 2019 and established my place as the alpha of the house. Both dogs are so much better at listening now. There’s no fighting anymore and that’s a positive.

Still, even as a solitary creature, I find myself feeling lonely on occasion. At 2:35 p.m. every weekday the alarm on my phone sounds warning me that it’s time to pick my granddaughter up from school — only now, I don’t go.

My daughter signed me up for the lunch program at the Milford Senior Center. I go there twice a week and pick up a bag with three meals in it. Since that started, my blood sugar and blood pressure have improved. She also makes dinner for me and goes to the grocery store for me.

She constantly reminds me how infectious the virus is and that it can stay on surfaces for a long time, so, even if I buy something on Amazon or from JoAnn for curbside pick-up other people have touched these items and they may or may not have been wearing gloves and may or may not have been infected.

She does bring my granddaughter around occasionally to decorate my front wall with sidewalk chalk. I love seeing that little girl, she’s been my life since she entered this world, and now we can’t even hug one another.

She always comes close to me to talk and I have to tell her to step back. Ouch, that really hurts.

She looks at me with the saddest eyes and tells me that she just wants to hug me. It really breaks my heart.

About twice a week I go out just to see if anyone is complying with the safety rules. It’s disheartening to see how many cars still fill the parking lots of some stores I wouldn’t consider essential. I haven’t gone shopping inside a store since March 15, but you can observe a lot from inside your vehicle.

After gloves and masks were recommended for everyone’s safety, only a fraction of the people out there are taking it seriously. This crisis is not over yet, and if everyone would just do their part then this last month of isolation won’t be for nothing.

Wear a mask, wear plastic gloves, especially if you are an employee, touching customers’ items. Let Orange Live know when you see something out of sorts – food prep or grocery workers without gloves,  any store that is overcrowded, etc. Let us know and we’ll get the word out.

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, We’re all in this together

Take care, everybody. Wash your hands, wear a mask and gloves. if you have to go out, But if you can, just stay at home!