Ebola virus information for parents and schools

Clic aquí para español. 
Read the letter from Mayor Harp here in English and here in Spanish.
Dear New Haven Public Schools Parent and Staff:
You probably have heard about the Ebola epidemic affecting some West African countries and you may have heard news reports about the potential of Ebola in a patient at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Preliminary tests for the virus have come back negative, meaning it is unlikely that the patient has Ebola. However, we want to assure you that we at New Haven Public Schools are continuing to follow all local, state and federally recommended precautions around Ebola and that your student is not in danger of exposure to this virus at school. Please also read the letter from Mayor Toni Harp to residents with more information about the virus and city preparations to keep the public safe.
Here are some important things to know about Ebola:

  • There are no cases of Ebola in New Haven Public Schools
  • Ebola is much harder to spread than other diseases such as the flu. To get Ebola you need to touch a sick person directly or have contact with their body fluids. It does not spread through the air. Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite and abnormal bleeding.
  • We have worked with the New Haven Health Department to establish and implement procedures to protect our schools, including a screening protocol for our Registration Office that is aligned to state and federal guidelines. All new registrants are asked if they have traveled through or resided in an Ebola-affected area – currently Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone - within the last 21 days. If the answer is “yes,” the Health Department is called and will respond immediately to work with the family to protect their health and the health of others in the school system.  
  • All New Haven Public School buildings follow daily cleaning protocols through our custodial and facilities staff, procedures that become particularly important during cold and flu season.

We continue to work closely with the New Haven Health Department, which is collaborating with the State Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, to ensure precautions are in place to protect the public.
For more information on Ebola you can visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ or call the New Haven health Department at 203-946-6999. You can also call United Way 211, which is providing information and links on its website at www.211ct.org.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority and we are committed to taking every step and precaution to ensure that remains true. We look forward to a healthy and productive school year.
Garth Harries, Superintendent of Schools