Parent Messages: COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
This page will be periodically updated to reflect the latest info & guidance.
Knowledge is power. Choose not to panic. Choose instead to inform yourself about COVID-19, commonly known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
April 14, 2020
Emergency Order from County Manager Joshua Potosek
This afternoon, an emergency order was issued by County Manager Joshua Potosek and approved by the NYS Department of Health, to assist the Department of Public Health Services with reinforcing the importance of Isolation & Quarantine orders to help reduce community transmission of COVID-19.
Any Sullivan County resident that has been issued an Isolation or Quarantine order by Public Health Services has either has:
1) been placed on isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test, or
2) placed on quarantine if they have been determined to be a close contact (exposed) to someone who has tested positive
Given the increasing number of positive cases in Sullivan County (425- see dashboard) and the increasing number of community residents on quarantine, it is imperative that we help spread the word that anyone who is on quarantine remain AT HOME if they are under an official quarantine order until they are notified by Public Health Services that their quarantine period is over.
Under no circumstances, if someone is under an isolation or quarantine order should they leave their home, even to run essential errands. Arrangements should be made for someone to pick up or drop off supplies, food, medicine, etc. even if they are still working from home.
The only exception to this guidance may be in special circumstances for health care workers or essentials workers who are asymptomatic and have been given permission to work by Public Health Services with a face mask as long as they remain symptom free. Daily monitoring of symptoms is required.
Employers of essential workers are required to provide face masks to their employees.
Staff or students who need to pick up supplies or run errands in the community are strongly urged to wear cloth face masks while doing so.
Cloth face masks are easily made at home https://www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent- getting-sick/diy-cloth-face- coverings.html. N95 and surgical masks should be reserved for health care workers, and are in short supply.
If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 utilize the resources below.
- NYSDOH COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
- COVID-19 Emotional Support Help Line: 1-844-863-9314, 81m-10pm, 7 days/wk
- The Sullivan County Emergency Community Assistance Center can help those who need assistance by calling 807-0925.
- https://coronavirus.health.ny. gov/home
Please Do Your Part in Helping Level the Curve.
March 30 , 2020
Important Message to Parents & Students
Governor Cuomo recently mandated that schools be closed at least through April 15th, but are expected to continue with remote learning. Students who have completed their 3rd quarter mailed instructional materials can submit work by emailing their teacher or dropping off their work inside the Rubin Pollack Education Center’s main vestibule by Friday April 3 between the hours of 8AM-2:30PM. Third quarter grades will be calculated based on the work completed and submitted through March 12th. These grades may include any mailed instructional materials and/or Google Classroom work completed and returned by Friday, April 3rd.
Students who have requested a computer device and have internet access may pick up the device this week at the RPEC main entrance on Wednesday, April 1st from 8AM-12PM and 5-7PM or Thursday, April 2nd between 8AM-12PM. Please bring a picture or student ID.
If you have not requested a device and would like to do so, please contact your child’s teacher or counselor, or call 295-4111. Instructional materials will be sent home to support Google Classroom assignments, as well as providing instruction/activities to students who do not have internet access.
March 20, 2020
Your children’s teachers and related service providers have been working hard over the last few days to prepare for maintaining a connection with the school during prolonged school closure. Packets have been sent home in addition to activities being posted regularly on Google Classroom. Directions on how to access Google Classroom were sent home with each packet. The link to Google Classroom and directions can be found on our home page at www.scboces.org. If you have not received your packet yet or have questions, please contact your child’s teacher via email. If you cannot reach them, contact the RPEC main campus at 845-295-4111 and we can provide information or will put you in contact with a person who can help you.
Sullivan BOCES is expected to be open when our school districts are open; we try to plan our closures for when our school districts are closed. School districts are being required to use all banked snow days and vacation time before they are eligible to apply for any waivers. Therefore our school districts are canceling their spring breaks to get them through to the mandated closure date of April 3rd. To reflect that schedule, Sullivan BOCES is canceling spring break at this time. This is a fluid situation and the closure may be extended if necessary.
Arrangements have been made around the county to provide food to families in need. Many community-based organizations are also stepping forward to help assure that our students are fed during the closure. Please check with your home school district for further food distribution information.
These are uncertain times. This is an imperfect plan, but it is the best plan that we have, and working together it will only improve. Robocalls will be issued as necessary for further updates on school closings.
We will get through this together! That is the only way we will be successful. Watch after yourself, protect your families, practice social distancing and ride this out. Help us support our students remotely in any way possible. This too shall pass and we will be the better for it! Stay strong, be well, be confident and stay united!
Robert M. Dufour, Ed.D.
District Superintendent & Chief Executive Officer
March 20, 2020
LETTER from the SULLIVAN COUNTY MANAGER'S OFFICE
You may have heard of a new virus called the coronavirus that is making people sick. Coronavirus is a lot like the flu. People who get it usually have a fever, cough, and find it hard to breathe.
It is very easy to spread coronavirus from person to person. The good news is that, if you get it, you are not likely to get very sick. But, if you are not careful, you can pass it along to your friends and family without even knowing it. Older adults -like grandmas and grandpas - are the most likely to get very sick from the coronavirus.
YOU can play a role in keeping your friends and family safe and healthy. Here are six easy actions you can take:
1. Wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before Good handwashing takes 20 seconds, -using soap and hot water. You can sing the Happy -Birthday song to measure 20-seconds. Don't forget to wash your fingertips and thumbs.
2. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your arm.
3. Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose without washing your hands Touching your face with dirty hands is how you get sick.
4. Clean the surfaces you touch a lot -like tables and doorknobs- with a cleaning spray or wipe once a
5. When you can, stay two arms lengths away from people to be sure you are not spreading
6. If you do not feel well, stay home and rest until you feel
Doctors and scientists around the world are trying to find new ways to keep people from getting coronavirus and help people who do get it to feel better.
Thank you for doing your part to keep the people you love safe and healthy!
Sullivan County Manager
March 17, 2020
This is being provided as an update regarding a potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus by some of our CTE students and staff.
It was determined that 23 students in our Health Occupations program and two staff members may have been potentially exposed. The parents of these students and the staff members have been contacted by the school administration. The New York State Department of Health, in conjunction with the Sullivan County Department of Public Health Services is conducting an investigation.
We have been informed the risk of secondary exposure is considered low, but encourage parents to continue to monitor their children at home for signs of a fever or respiratory symptoms, use social distancing (6 ft) from others, handwashing, and to notify their primary care doctor or Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910 immediately if they become symptomatic.
Keep in mind that the flu is still very prevalent in Sullivan County and the respiratory symptoms are similar. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Families with general questions about COVID-19 can call the NYS COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
March 16, 2020
It has come to our attention that some of our CTE students, faculty and staff may have been exposed to the COVID 19 virus during clinical rotations at the county-owned nursing home. Sullivan BOCES is working in conjunction with the Sullivan County Department of Public Health to determine if any exposures occurred and if so to what extent. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
If there are any immediate concerns requiring follow up by you or your family you will be contacted directly by the Sullivan County Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health is requesting that you do not go to the hospital and request testing unless you develop symptoms of fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, OR unless you are contacted to do so.
This is strictly an informational email, and we anticipate more communications when the investigation is complete.
March 14, 2020
Sullivan County has closed all schools in Sullivan Cty. through April 3, 2020, under the County’s COVID-19 emergency proclamation. Therefore, effective Monday, March 16th, BOCES is closed for all students.
BOCES will contact parents of plans to continue instruction for students. Communication of these alternative education plans will be sent via phone, email, or the US Post Office.
Please note: This closure affects all programming at the BOCES. Please be assured, BOCES has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting its buildings to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses.
February 28, 2020
While Sullivan BOCES does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in our schools, we are aware of concerns in the community about the spread of this relatively new virus.
The district is closely monitoring this fluid situation and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Sullivan County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.
Based on recent reports, COVID-19 is not actively circulating in New York State at this time.
If the district becomes aware that a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, it will immediately notify staff and parents/guardians. If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, we will follow our current practices for handling respiratory illnesses, subject to any additional guidance forthcoming.
The district has infectious disease protocols in place and has been taking steps, such as cleaning and disinfecting throughout its schools, to minimize the spread of viruses and a variety of other illnesses.
There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, and follow their advice.
Local health departments will contact schools if a suspected or known COVID-19 case emerges. The district is prepared to work with any affected families.
Families are also encouraged to follow the CDC’s information for travel, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. For more information, consider consulting these additional resources:
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
COVID-19: What is Stigma and What Causes It?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Frequently Asked Questions - Prevention
Prevention, Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
In addition, New York has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline, which can provide additional information. Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms. BOCES will continue to share information as it becomes available.
Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness.
Robert M. Dufour, Ed. D.