Local schools take precaution to get ahead of coronavirus transmission

Coronavirus

WOODBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s not just colleges and universities taking steps to protect their students from coronavirus. At a Woodbury School District meeting Thursday night, they discussed the best course of action to keep their students safe.

They are not taking the coronavirus lightly at Region 14. The school system says they have a plan for not only prevention but – if the need arises – to close the schools amid an outbreak.

There were about 30 people in the meeting, including nurses, the Health Director, the Superintendent, and the Head of Facilities for the school district.

Thursday meeting included discussion about all forms of health protection including making sure all students have access to hand sanitizer in every room (and that they use it before entering and exiting a room) and deep-cleaning the entire school system.

They will also be looking at green cleaners to make sure they have enough power to kill the coronavirus, and emphasizing basic health like washing your hands.

First Selectmen Barbara Perkinson of Woodbury said communicating and having an action plan for prevention “is the thing to do.”

They will be hitting every surface in every classroom: keyboards, computer mice, chairs, door, knobs, windows, even the front bell where you push the ring yourself in at security.

They are going to do everything they can to protect the students, parents, and the school district as a whole. This is especially important because the school system is the epicenter for two small towns – Woodberry in Bethlehem – and could be a place that would easily spread the virus across the region.

“Well like any sickness we can only do so much to prevent it. We are going to do as much as we can, and again I think it’s unique that we have two small towns in one district that we are all sitting on the same page”

– Dr. Joseph A. Olzacki, Superintendent of Schools Woodbury/Bethlehem

While dozens of school officials in emergency response personnel gathered at school headquarters in region 14, down the hallway cleaning crews already giving the school a deep clean and getting ready for new procedures.

There was talk at the meeting of closing the school down should an outbreak come that close to home.

Health Director Neal Lustig explained Japan has closed its school systems at least until the end of March, and – as much as that is the extreme solution – they are prepared for that possibility should it arise.

Parents have mixed reactions about the precautions taken for the coronavirus.

Ed Milton of Woodbury said, “The chances are very slim I think there is an overreaction by the U.S.”

But Edward Bettigole, also of Woodbury, said, “These are our kids, you have to go the extra mile, and if you look back and you say while we overreacted, I don’t think you overreacted. “

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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