COVID-19

School closure update (3/16/20):

As a result of the recent confirmation of a COVID-19 diagnosis in our school system, all Newton County Schools will be closed for at least 10 school days. At this time, our projected reopen date is tentatively scheduled for Monday, March 30.

“District officials will reevaluate school status on Thursday, March 26 and notify parents if the need arises to remain closed for additional days,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County Schools.

During this time-period, the Newton County Board of Education building, located at 2109 Newton Drive NE, Covington, Georgia, will be closed to the general public; however, some personnel will continue to work to ensure the daily business of the school system continues. Stakeholders may reach central office employees via phone and email during this time.

“All schools are posting instructional learning information and opportunities on their school websites and social media sites so please have your children check them daily for updates. If you have questions or need support please contact your school principal or child’s teachers by email,” said Fuhrey. “We have also created a section on our school system website that is dedicated to COVID-19 information. It may be access through our homepage at www.newtoncountyschools.org. Principal email addresses are posted in this special section. We will continually add updates so be sure to check back often.”

Fuhrey added, “Should new information become available that directly impacts our students and employees we will communicate that information through School Messenger calls and on our website and social media channels.”


School closure announcement (3/13/20):

Out of an abundance of caution concerning COVID-19 (coronavirus), all schools will be closed beginning March 16, 2020, until further notice. All administrative offices will be closed to the public during this period as well. The closure affects all programming at the schools, including before and after school activities, planned trips and events, all athletic and extracurricular activities, athletic practices and competitions, general facility rentals, and weekend events.
Students will participate in alternative learning options during the closure. Teachers and principals will contact students and parents through normal means of communication regarding instructions and assignments.

It is important to note that there have been no confirmed cases of students or staff with COVID-19 in our school system at this time. This closure is designed to limit social contact, which reduces the risk of exposure to our students and staff. While closed, we will continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect all schools, administrative buildings, and school buses using COVID-19 approved cleaners.
We appreciate the continued support of our community during this unprecedented time and we encourage you to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself, your families, and the broader community safe.


Instructional learning options:
Students will participate in alternative learning options during the closure. Teachers and principals will contact students and parents through normal means of communication regarding instructions and assignments.

How is Newton County School System protecting students and staff at schools?
It is important to note that there have been no confirmed cases of students or staff with COVID-19 in our school system at this time. This closure is designed to limit social contact, which reduces the risk of exposure to our students and staff. While closed, we will continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect all schools, administrative buildings, and school buses using COVID-19 approved cleaners.

Schools are following best practices for cleaning and disinfecting with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectants. Specifically, our efforts to protect students and staff include sanitizing touchpoints (places that are touched frequently throughout the day). This consists of sanitizing surfaces and objects including:

• Door Handles / Knobs / Push Bars
• Light Switches
• Sink Faucet Handles / Knobs
• Drinking Fountains
• Paper Towel Dispensers
• Electric Hand Dryers
• Hand Soap Dispensers
• Stairwell Handrails
• Toilet / Urinal Handles
• Toilet Stall Door Handles
• Counter Tops
• Cafeteria Tables and Chairs
• Office Counters and Surfaces
• School bus surfaces including seats, handrails, steering wheels and driver control panels
• Anything else that is handled frequently by multiple people

Newton County School System also utilizes disinfectant misting technologies in our buildings and school buses.


What action should parents take at this time?
The Newton County School System uses the School Messenger Notification System to communicate with parents, students, and staff regarding District emergencies, weather-related school closings, and general interest information. Parents and guardians should verify that their phone numbers and email addresses are correct in Infinite Campus and ensure that notification permissions are set to receive messages.

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses and there are different types of coronaviruses within that family, much like there are different types of influenza viruses. In the United States, there are common coronaviruses that circulate every year, which usually cause upper respiratory tract illnesses much like the common cold. Coronaviruses tend to circulate in the fall and winter months, like influenza. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. The coronavirus (COVID-19) that has recently emerged in Wuhan, China is a new type of coronavirus and is infecting people for the first time, which means that people do not have immunity to it. Typical symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

You can reduce the risk of spreading coronaviruses by taking the same steps you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold:

• Wash hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer, with 60-95% alcohol if water is not available.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
• Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.
Stay informed:

The most accurate source for school-related information is our school website, so please refer to our website regularly for updates as they become available. Visit the following websites periodically to receive updated information regarding COVID-19:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
https://dph.georgia.gov/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-outbreak
https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus?src=feature

We appreciate the continued support of our community during this unprecedented time and we encourage you to please take the necessary precautions to keep yourself, your families, and the broader community safe.


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