• From Principal   

    TO:  Parents/Guardians

    FROM: Joseph J. Occhino

    DATE:  January 31, 2020

    SUBJECT: Coronavirus

    LINKS: n/a

    TIME SENSITIVE: Immediate

    Dear Parents/Guardians:
    With recent news about the coronavirus, you and/or members of your family may have some questions or concerns. New Jersey has faced many outbreaks and viruses over the years, and we know the vital role that schools play by providing crucial guidance to students and families. 
    The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and the New Jersey Department of Health have been working collaboratively to respond with information for school communities on the 2019 Novel (new) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that was first identified last month in Wuhan, China. Although this virus is understandably a cause for concern, we have been advised that the risk to the general public, including school-age children, is very low. However, it is necessary for school officials to remain up-to-date with the latest information on the coronavirus so we can disseminate timely and accurate information to staff, students and families. As of January 28, there were five confirmed cases in the United States and no confirmed cases in New Jersey.
    As always, Northern Highlands continues to follow proper health and safety precautions to ensure the well-being of students and staff and takes direction from the NJDOE. We are sanitizing and disinfecting student desks, locker rooms, bathrooms, the wrestling gym, the wellness center, the Nurse's office, and as many touch points throughout the building as possible.
    At this time, initial reports indicate that, similar to influenza, this virus may be spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes. The vast majority of reported cases only experience mild symptoms and are well enough to stay home. As with influenza, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe disease and require hospitalization.
    In the meantime, we would remind everyone to follow proper hygiene etiquette during the cold and flu season. This includes proper hand washing with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick.
    To ensure the public has access to factual information to alleviate fears and dispel rumors, the New Jersey Department of Health as established a hotline (1-800-222-1222) to answer questions about the coronavirus. Operated by the Poison Information and Education System, the 24-hour public hotline is staffed with trained healthcare professionals and can accommodate callers in multiple languages.
    Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our school nurse, Mrs. Anne Rutkowski, at 201-327-8700 x513.
    Joseph J. Occhino, Principal
Last Modified on February 4, 2020