In a move designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 following the first confirmed case in town, New Canaan Public Schools will close Thursday, district officials said, and starting Friday students will continue learning remotely for two weeks.
Faculty and staff “have been working tirelessly over the past weeks to prepare for this scenario,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said Wednesday afternoon in an email to parents.
“We have prepared for this scenario by coming together as a district to develop plans that provide our students with a continuing educational experience during the closure,” he said. “These plans will be shared by your building principals in subsequent communications.”
Thursday will count as a snow day, district officials said.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention tips include washing hands with soap and water, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, going to the bathroom and before eating or preparing food, as well as covering up when coughing or sneezing, the CDC said.
New Canaan’s emergency management director, Mike Handler, said in a town-wide communication that officials have no information that New Canaanite who tested positive for it had direct contact with a student or school personnel.
“However, thorough contact tracing will take several days to complete,” Handler said. “What we do know is that COVID-19 is present in our community and our objective is to slow down the viral spread.”
New Canaan Library closed Wednesday evening, Grace Farms is closed for at least one week, and town officials said they’ve closed Lapham Community Center—New Canaan’s senior center—as a precautionary measure. The New Canaan Historical Society closed Wednesday for at least two weeks.
Luizzi said that district officials “will remain in continual contact throughout the closure” and encouraged families to reach out to him or school principals with questions. (District information can be found here.)
Here’s a link to a page on the town’s website that includes information on COVID-19 and a link to sign up for New Canaan’s emergency outcall system as well as the Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook page.