Kelly addresses parents’ concerns over Coronavirus Letter focuses on students returning from Italy

Even before 26 Revere High students returned from Italy on Feb. 25 following their school department-sanctioned, nine-day trip, Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly had a plan in place to address local parents’ growing concerns about the coronavirus.
Kelly said that on Monday, Feb. 24 – the day before the students returned to Revere – Revere’s Public Health Nurse Carol Donovan reached out to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) requesting information about the safest course of action in relation to the RHS students re-entering the school on Feb. 26 for their regular schedule of classes.
“[Revere Public Health Nurse] Carol Donovan called the CDC and she shared information with the CDC about our students’ trip to Italy,” said Kelly. “The CDC told us that there was no reason to keep the students out of school. All the [RHS] students had been healthy during the trip and no one showed any signs of health issues upon their return.”
The CDC did advise that Revere health and school officials monitor the 26 students for any flu-like symptoms related to the virus.
“Dr. [Josh] Vadala and Carol Donovan met with all of the school nurses [Feb. 26] to discuss coronavirus symptoms, treatments, identification, and the notification of parents if the school nurses find someone showing symptoms of the virus,” said Kelly.
The superintendent said it is now two weeks after the students left Venice, “and not one of the students is showing any kind of symptoms.”
As part of the Revere schools’ information process, Dr. Kelly sent the following letter to families on Feb. 26:
“Dear Families,
I am writing today to address the growing concerns around Coronavirus across the world. A significant factor to Revere’s context is the fact that we had 26 students travel to Italy over the school break, where incidents of the virus have increased significantly in recent days. Our students left Venice on Feb. 17 which is nine days ago. The rest of their trip continued south and they departed Italy from Naples. All of their stops after Venice were in regions with very few, if any, cases of Coronavirus. None of our students or staff have shown any symptoms.
Working with the Revere Department of Public Health, we reached out to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) Monday for guidance on readmitting these students to Revere High School. They have advised that we bring these students back to school but asked us to monitor them for symptoms. We are following both points of guidance. We will continue to consult with and follow guidance from the MDPH and the CDC. We will also continue to collaborate with the Revere Department of Public Health, the Mayor’s Office, and other public safety officials as any guidance changes.
We understand and share your concern for the health of students across all grade levels and schools. Thankfully, we are also fortunate to have outstanding medical professionals as our school nurses. They are meeting today with Dr. Vadala and Revere’s Public Health Nurse, Carol Donovan, to review symptoms, protocols, and share best practices in monitoring the health of all students in general as well as with a focus on Coronavirus and the flu. The Mass Department of Public Health (MDPH) issued the guidance below to schools and health departments yesterday. You may find their information and links helpful.
Dianne K. Kelly, Ed.D.
Revere Public Schools”

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