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Breaking Health News COVID-19

Coronavirus Information from your School NursesTop of Page

Clipper Family Newsletter (vol. 1)with resources and support to survive the next few weeks.  Published March 24th  To access newsletter click Here
Food and Grocery Pick Up at the Nock School Front Door  Thursdays only each week!
When on Thursdays 10am to 12 noon
Grab and Go Meals :  an assortment of breakfast and lunch foods and groceries designed to last 7 days
WHEN:          Thursdays, from 10AM – 12PM
WHERE:        Rupert A. Nock Middle School, 70 Low Street
please pull to the FRONT DOOR for curbside pickup; please remain in your car.
Grocery Pick Upfrom Our Neighbor’s Table will also take place on Thursdays only
If you are interested in the Grocery Pick Up from Our Neighbor's Table (ONT) you must place an order online or via telephone ahead of time beginning next Tuesday morning. Please visit to place an online order or call the ONT office line at (978) 388-1907.  The cut off for ordering will be Wednesday at 6:00PM.   
Jessica Migala   March 13, 2020
This is a nice summary of what to have in your home for two weeks.  Remember following strict social distancing guidelines protects us all.  
Staying Safe at Home Recommendations for Families, Students, and Staff
(Letter from Mayor Holaday and Superintendent Sean Gallagher)
Rev. 3_16_20* Please note Our Neighbors Table Food Pantry* revised hours and watch for updates!
Dear Newburyport Community,
During this time of temporary school closure, it is important that we understand and follow the recommendations of our medical and public health professionals. This letter is to help our school community understand the recommendation for social distancing that closing our schools supports.
Social distancing is a strategy used by public health professionals to reduce the spread of disease when medications and vaccines are not available. The goal is to reduce the rate of infection and protect vulnerable people. It is also important because a rapid spread could overwhelm our medical community.
To effectively implement asocial distancing strategy, communities must work together. During the school closure, Newburyport families should consider the following recommendations:
  • Stay home as much as possible.
    • Prepare your own food in your own home as much as possible.
    • Avoid gathering in public places and avoid crowds.
  • ●Keep 6 feet away from other people as much as possible.
  • Minimize social contact.
    • This includes intimate gatherings among friends. This recommendation suggests that play-dates, sleep overs, and other gatherings of young people should be carefully considered.
    • When gathering outside follow the distance recommendation of staying 6-feet apart.
    • Groups of students or entire athletic teams should not gather on the athletic fields or school yards
It is important to follow these recommendations for a number of reasons:
  • Coronavirus is a new virus. This means that the virus will spread more quickly.
  • Experts are suggesting that people may be contagious before having symptoms. The average person is infecting 2-4 others and the number of infections in an area can multiply by ten every sixteen days.
  • Measures that we take today will exponentially reduce the spread of the virus.
Some symptoms that you can look for are deep fatigue, high fever (greater than 100.4), persistent cough, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath. What can I do if my child or I feel sick?
  • Call your primary care provider.
  • ●Follow strict social distancing protocols, staying 6-feet from others
  • ●Contact the Newburyport Board of Health for any questions
  • ●The school nurses will be available by email during regular school hours.
The community is working collaboratively to provide resources to support families:
  • Who can help if my family needs assistance with food?
  • Our Neighbors Table*
    • ■Our Neighbors' Table (ONT) is open and available as a great resource for free groceries. Their information is available on their website, Food Market in Newburyport open Thursdays from 11am to 2pm and in Amesbury* Wed-12-3pm*, Thurs.-3-6pm*, Fri. 9-12pm*, and Sat. 9-12pm* but call ahead but call ahead for distribution processes*
    • ■Contact:978-388-9807   ONTProgramCard2020
  • School Department
    • ■The schools will continue to communicate and coordinate with Youth Services and ONT to meet the needs of our families.
    • ■Contact:Cathy Riccio at
  • Newburyport Youth Services
    • ■Andi Egmont and staff are organizing volunteers to assist with deliveries
    • ■Contact:
  • ●Who can I contact for more information or questions?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the resources provided above, or any of our school administrators. Together we can follow the advice of our experienced public health experts. Foremost on our minds is the health and wellness of our children and their families. Lastly, please wash your hands and disinfect your surfaces as often as possible. 
Sean Gallagher, Superintendent
Donna D. Holaday, Mayor
Cjr:3_15_20, rev.3_16_20*
Dear Newburyport Families,
We understand that many families have questions regarding the recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may impact our local community and that it is a stressful time. The NPS will follow the Governor's recommendations concerning all international and out of state travel.   School events will be evaluated on a case by case basis with close scrutiny to safety and social distancing strategies in mind.  We will keep families updated based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  and the MA Dept. of Health (DPH), and the Newburyport Department of Health are providing daily updates and recommendations. Please click on the following links to stay updated:
How do I talk to my child about COVID-19?
  •  Simple reassurance. Remind children that researchers and doctors are learning as much as they can, as quickly as they can, about the virus and are taking steps to keep everyone safe.
  •  Give them control. It's also a great time to remind your children of what they can do to help – washing their hands often, coughing into a tissue or their sleeves, and getting enough sleep.
  • Watch for signs of anxiety. Children may not have the words to express their worry, but you may see signs of it. They may get cranky, be more clingy, have trouble sleeping, or seem distracted. Keep the reassurance going and try to stick to your normal routines.  Children will follow your lead. 
  • Monitor their media. Keep young children away from frightening images they may see on TV, social media, computers, etc. For older children, talk together about what they are hearing on the news and correct any misinformation or rumors you may hear.
For more information, please visit Talking to Children about COVID-19
While this is a public health concern, the schools are utilizing  additional electrostatic cleaners that blanket high touch areas, disease surveillance, and various social distancing strategies.   As with seasonal flu and strep infections, there are general precautions we can all take to remain as healthy as possible.
  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Use Alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid sharing drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, dishes, towels or other items. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
  • Practice good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.  
It is important to keep children home from school when they are ill. Please keep them home from school if they have any of the following symptoms : temperature greater than 100.4, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from eye, and any contagious illness such as chicken pox, strep throat or flu. 
Keep Confidential Health forms up to date!
Please be sure to complete and update all aspects of the confidential health form with parent's latest contact information.  In the case of emergencies, quick easy access to parents and guardians is imperative.  
We care about you!!
Thank you,
The Newburyport School Nurses

Information for Parents about Flu in SchoolsTop of Page

Get Your Flu Shot
Information for Parents about Influenza and Schools:
What to do if my child is sick?

Flu spreads easily from person to person.  If you think your child is getting the flu:

  • Keep your child home.  It is very important that your child does not go to school or other places where they could spread the flu virus to other people, such as group childcare, after school programs, the mall, or sporting events.
  • Call your doctor’s office and let them know your child’s symptoms and history.  Your doctor will advise you whether you should come to the office.  It is best to call ahead so that you help prevent spreading illness to others.
  • Call your child’s school to notify them that they are sick, and tell the school nurse if your child has flu-like symptoms.
  • Keep your school nurse updated on your child’s medical condition.
  • Do not give your child or teenager (18 years of age or younger) aspirin or aspirin-containing products due to the rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.
  • All individuals with flu-like symptoms should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, without using fever-reducing medicines.  These medicines include Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen), Tylenol (acetaminophen) or a store brand.  Keeping children with a fever at home will keep them from getting other people sick.  For most people, this will be about 4 days. See the ‘Flu Symptom Checklist for Families and Schools’ on page 4 for more information. 
  • Schools are not allowed to accept a doctor’s note recommending a child with flu-like symptoms return to school before the time period described above.

Please use the checklist below to help you decide when to keep your child home from school.

Flu Symptom Check List for Families and Schools
The main symptoms of influenza (flu) include fever and cough and/or sore throat. Some people also have a runny nose, body aches, headache, chills and feel tired.  Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting.  The most important thing that you can do to keep flu from spreading in the community is to keep your sick child at home when they are sick.
  • Has your child had a fever of 100.4 degrees or more in the past 24
  • Does your child have a cough OR sore throat?
If you answered NO to both questions above, your child can return to school.

If you answered YES to either one of the questions above, your child CANNOT return to school.
Keep your child home for at least another day to
observe for additional symptoms.

Then use the check list questions again to decide whether you should continue to keep your child home.


Where can I find more information about influenza?

1) Call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health information line: 211

2) Go to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health influenza website: flu

3) A “Fever Fact Sheet” with information on how to take a temperature is also available.

Additional Sites for Information

The following links are suggested readings for discussion at home.


Information in SPANISH & FRENCHTop of Page