COVID-19 News and Updates
LATEST COVID19 Updates
Priority Workforce Testing
As a part of the State of Connecticut's testing program our testing partners are providing priority access for childcare and early childhood staff, teachers, and first responders.
Priority access is intended for staff who need to get tested quickly, in order to ensure their work day is not interrupted. Click here for more information.
Click on the image below to read the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Reopening Volume 3
Click here to view a short presentation explaining the process that Region 7 utilizes to identify anyone who is considered a close contact of a Covid-19 infected person.
DPH, DECD Update Comprehensive Sports Guidance, Recommendations and Sector Rules for Winter Season
Recommendations Based on COVID-19 Risk Assessment Conducted by the National Federation of High School Associations; Covers Scholastic and Private Athletic Leagues
The Department of Public Health (DPH) today released updated comprehensive sports guidance incorporating sports to be played in the winter season for both interscholastic leagues, recreational, and private leagues for youth and adults. DPH’s recommendations will be codified as part of the updated sector rules on sports from the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), and do not apply to college level or professional athletics. This revision updates comprehensive sports guidance released on September 25, 2020 and is intended to guide local health departments, municipalities and league organizers in assessing the risk of play, and offer suggestions to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection to players, coaches, parents and spectators. This guidance is based on a risk assessment for COVID-19 conducted by the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), a national organization governing high school athletics. The guidance includes a description of the risk categories for sports, breaks down the risks of different activity associated with those sports, and makes recommendations for each of those activities. The full sports guidance document can be found online and is meant to be used as a tool to help organizers of athletic leagues for both children and adults.
Click on the image below to view the CSDE's Addendum 5
For more COVID19 resources, please visit the CSDE’s web site at: https://portal.ct.gov/sde
Regional School District No. 7 Reopen Plan submitted to the State Department of Education.
The latest State of Connecticut Travel Advisory Information.
Free Internet for Families
Families without a current broadband Internet connection are eligible for free service during the 2020 – 21 school year through Governor Lamont’s Everybody Learns initiative.
The State has been working with districts across Connecticut to identify and connect families with school-aged children. Students can get online through mobile “hotspots” or through cable broadband connections available at home and in your community. For families with questions, ask your technology department whether students qualify for, or may have already received, a connection through these programs:
- Hotspots: These are small, portable devices that students can use to connect to the Internet through cellular networks (e.g., AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon). The State shipped nearly 13,000 of these units to schools statewide early in the fall, and distribution to students should have taken place already. To find out if your school or district requested hotspots and which students received one, contact your technology department.
- Cable Internet Connections: Through the providers Altice, Atlantic, Charter, Comcast, and Cox, the State is providing no-cost Internet at home. Your school or district leaders are working with these companies to identify students without access and connect them. Your technology department should have a list of students who will receive this service and can help identify their home connection status.
We encourage you to speak with your school or district technology team about the specific providers and technologies used to get your students online. If after installation, questions or problems arise with a family’s connection, your technology team can help troubleshoot through the cable or hotspot company providing the service.
- In the hybrid model, can my child switch from Cohort A to Cohort B to be with their friends?
- How will lunch work? Will students be using the cafeteria? Will they be eating in their classrooms?
- When will students be receiving their schedules?
- I know there will be a mask break, but will there be any other short breaks? What if a student wants to take a drink of water from their water bottle during class, will that be allowed?
- What will commons look like during the hybrid model?
- Can you please tell me how bussing will be affected by the hybrid model? Will bus routes be consolidated? What level of social distancing will be implemented?
- Will juniors be allowed to drive since the hybrid model restricts the full senior class from driving on any given day?
- Were there any thoughts to just having all staff & students tested prior to returning to school?
- Would the college and military representatives that would normally come to schools still be allowed to visit?
- If a student has chosen to engage in distance learning only, would they still be required to have a physical prior to the start of school?
- Will there be band, chorus and gym classes?
- How often will Regional 7 evaluate the reopen plan? Is the Hybrid model going to be in place for the entire year?
- I have read that students who choose to come into school (in the hybrid plan)can change their mind at any time and begin full distance learning. What about the opposite?
- How will study halls work if a student is distance learning?
- PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
- HEALTH MONITORING and CONTAINMENT
- DISTANCE LEARNING
Key Times to Wash Hands
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
After you have been in public place and touched an item or surface that might have been touched by others: doors, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts
Before you touch your eyes, nose, mouth- that is how germs enter the body
Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
Before and after treating a cut or wound
After using the toilet
After changing diapers
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
After handling pet food or pet treats
After touching garbage
pREVENTING tHE sPREAD OF COVID 19
Vaping and the Corona Virus
We have all heard of the vaping epidemic in our country. Those who vape are in dire danger if they get the Covid 19 virus and have increased risk of spreading the virus. Please use this link and read the info on this topic! Share it with your family and friends!
Tips for Dealing with Stress During the Corona
While School is Out, Can My Kids Play With Their Friends?
- The key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing. While school is out, children should not have in-person play dates with children from other households. If children are playing outside their own homes, it is essential that they remain 6 feet from anyone who is not in their own household.
- To help children maintain social connections while social distancing, help your children have supervised phone calls or video chats with their friends.
General principles for talking to children
Remain calm and reassuring.
- Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.
Make yourself available to listen and to talk.
- Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.
Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.
- Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.
Provide information that is honest and accurate.
- Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
- Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.
Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.
- Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
- Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
- Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff.
(e.g., increased handwashing, cancellation of events or activities)
- Get children into a handwashing habit.
- Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and child care facilities.
Facts about COVID-19 for discussions with children
Try to keep information simple and remind them that health and school officials are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.
What is COVID-19?
- COVID-19 is the short name for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is a new virus. Doctors and scientists are still learning about it.
- Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick. Scientists and doctors think that most people will be ok, especially kids, but some people might get pretty sick.
- Doctors and health experts are working hard to help people stay healthy.
What happens if you get sick with COVID-19?
- COVID-19 can look different in different people. For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. People can get a fever, cough, or have a hard time taking deep breaths. Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems. From what doctors have seen so far, most children don’t seem to get very sick. While a lot of adults get sick, most adults get better.
- If you do get sick, it doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. People can get sick from all kinds of germs. What’s important to remember is that if you do get sick, the adults at home and school will help get you any help that you need.
- If you suspect your child may have COVID-19, call the healthcare facility to let them know before you bring your child in to see them.
How to clean and disinfect by The CDC
- Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
High touch surfaces include:
Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
- Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
- Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant external icon.
Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
Many products recommend:
- Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
- Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
- Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against corona viruses when properly diluted.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute
To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.
For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes
- Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. These disinfectants external icon meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.
For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.
- Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics
- Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting
- If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
For clothing, towels, linens and other items
- Wear disposable gloves.
- Wash hands with soap and water as soon as you remove the gloves.
- Do not shake dirty laundry.
- Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- Dirty laundry from a sick person can be washed with other people’s items.
- Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
Clean hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a sick person.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly dirty, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
- Additional key times to clean hands include:
- After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the restroom
- Before eating or preparing food
- After contact with animals or pets
- Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
When Someone is Sick
Bedroom and Bathroom
Keep separate bedroom and bathroom for sick person (if possible)
- The sick person should stay separated from other people in the home (as much as possible).
- If you have a separate bedroom and bathroom: Reduce cleaning to as-needed (e.g. soiled items and surfaces) to minimize the amount of contact with the sick person.
- Caregivers can provide personal cleaning supplies to the sick person (if appropriate). Supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners, and EPA-registered disinfectants external icon.
- If shared bathroom: Clean and disinfect after each use by the sick person. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting.
- See precautions for household members and caregivers for more information.
- Stay separated: The sick person should eat (or be fed) in their room if possible.
Wash dishes and utensils using gloves and hot water: Handle any non-disposable used food service items with gloves and wash with hot water or in a dishwasher.
Clean hands after handling used food service items.
- Dedicated, lined trash can: If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the sick person. Use gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
- Wash hands: Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean your hands often
- Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Soap and water: Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Call ahead before visiting your doctor
- Call ahead: Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine.
- If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.