Twenty-six Revere High School students and three members of the school staff were slated to return to school today (Wednesday) after being self-monitored at home for three days due to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) decision to change the guidelines relative to the coronavirus.
The group – which included an RHS teacher of Italian classes, a special educator, and a school custodian, — originally returned from a school-sanctioned trip to Italy on Tuesday, Feb. 25 and re-entered the school on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
Revere Public Health Nurse Carol Donovan said the CDC changed the coronavirus guidelines on March 3 for all travelers who had returned to the United States from Italy, China, Iran, and South Korea, requesting that travelers self-monitor at home for 14 days.
Because 14 days had not elapsed from the time the Revere students re-entered the country on Feb. 25, the students and three staff members were asked to not return to school until today (March 11).
Donovan said the students were in Venice (Italy) on Feb. 17 and traveled to Milan on Feb. 19. “Venice did not get the infection until Feb. 21 – that’s why CDC originally allowed the students to return to school,” she said.
Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly said all eight school buildings (housing 11 schools overall) in the city underwent “a deep cleaning” by The Complete Cleaning Company, over the weekend. The special “deep cleaning” was in addition to the company’s regular clean-up operations that occur at night.
“We’re going to follow the progress of the cleaning efforts and continue to use the company do to deep cleaning as needed and as recommended by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health,” said Kelly.
The schools’ chief executive said the additional cleaning services will slightly affect the current school budget, “but we always have some contingency in the budget for building and facility issues, so we have that contingency set aside that we can use to do that work.”
Kelly said unless the CDC or Massachusetts Department of Public Health issues other directives, all field trips, college visitations, and athletic events will proceed as scheduled. Revere pre-season workouts begin on March 16.
Kelly did issue a second letter to all school families asking that parents notify the School Department if any member of their family travels to another country
Donovan said her office has not received notification from the CDC that any Revere residents had traveled to the four countries most affected by the coronavirus.
Donovan has visited the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center to discuss preventative measures with residents and staff.
“I advised them that as they would monitor their health regarding the flu, they should take the same precautions – do social distancing, wash your hands often, cover your mouths if you’re near someone who is coughing or sneezing, and keep up the routine of protecting yourself against virus,” said Donovan.
Letter from Superintendent Dianne Kelly
“Dear Colleagues and Families,
Thank you to everyone for your help in navigating our way through the COVID 19 dilemma. We are working proactively to prevent or stave off its arrival in our schools. It has already impacted us in the quarantining of several students and staff members who attended the Italy trip. We are fortunate that all of our students and staff from that trip remain healthy and we look forward to welcoming them back to school on Wednesday. As we did in that case, we will continue to follow any updated guidance from the CDC and the MADPH. This information changes rapidly and so, decisions may change rapidly too.
This weekend, we did a deep cleaning and sanitization at all schools. We are also working to procure hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for all classrooms; but this may take some time. Donations are always welcomed! We are meeting with the School Committee and representatives from the Revere DPH on Thursday to determine our next steps, precautions, communication plans, and implementation plans should we need to close a school or the district. More on all of this to follow.
Have a good day and thank you again for your help and support,
Dianne K. Kelly
Supt. of Schools”