Menlo School in Atherton closed following staff member’s contact with COVID-19 infected relative

by Linda Hubbard on March 4, 2020

According to the Menlo School website, the school has been closed through the weekend because a staff member had contact with a relative who tested positive for the Coronavirus. Head of School Than Healy posted this letter to members of the Menlo School community yesterday:

“We have learned that a staff member of Menlo School has had contact with a relative who today tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The School is working closely with the San Mateo County Department of Health and the CDC.

“Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety and well-being of our community, we have decided to close the School through the weekend. This means that all school-related activities will be canceled, including classes, athletics, arts, clubs, and planned field trips. Students, faculty, and staff are not to be on campus during this time.

“During the closure, we will continue to work with the health departments and will gain a better understanding of our employee’s situation. We have also engaged a cleaning service and will use the time to deep clean the entire campus.

“We know this news may cause understandable concern. While it is not our intent to cause undue alarm or disruption to our students’ learning, the School has decided to act conservatively and in the best interest of our community members in announcing this closure. Our desire is to continue to be transparent with you and communicate what we know as frequently as possible. We will communicate with you again by early evening on Wednesday to provide any updates.

“It remains important to take standard precautionary measures against respiratory illness, including:

-Avoiding close contact with those with cold and flu-like symptoms
-Covering your nose/mouth when coughing and sneezing with a flexed elbow
-Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
-Cleaning your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. -It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

“For more information on the developing public health response to COVID-19, visit the World Health Organization’s resource page here or the CDC’s FAQ here. You can find localized updates from the San Mateo County Health Department here. For additional health questions, please contact School Nurse, Joan Barada.”

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