Last week, superintendent of schools, Dr. Kevin Smith, released a letter to the school community providing information about the coronavirus/COVID-19 and outlining precautions the district is taking. On the town government side, Wilton officials are also implementing steps to be prepared in case coronavirus shows up here.
First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice told GOOD Morning Wilton that town employees in all departments are all taking appropriate actions, led by Director of Health Barry Bogle as the point person.
“Barry is monitoring the situation. He’s in touch with the state health agencies and following the CDC,” she said, adding that this week she’ll hold a meeting of the town’s health and public safety personnel on the issue.
She said Bogle is also overseeing all necessary training at the schools and for town personnel.
In addition, she explained that all town departments are looking at potential disruption to town business. “Each department is looking at their own operations and making sure that if people have to work remotely that we have all of the appropriate equipment and everybody understands how to do that.”
Most (if not all) town buildings are already equipped with hand sanitizer stations. Vanderslice said the town is reassessing what cleaning materials are being used.
At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, she emphasized that first and foremost, Wilton residents and employees alike should look to facts rather than rumors and spreading fear. She strongly encouraged people to refer to the website for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “for fact-based info.”
School Adjusts Emergency Response Practice Exercise
One additional concrete step school officials announced since last week is to revise a training drill for teachers and staff that has been long-planned for Wednesday, March 11. In a letter to families emailed Monday, the school district’s director of human resources and general administration Maria Coleman said a reunification drill* that had been originally scheduled for that day’s professional development period will be postponed, “…so that we may focus on our response to a potential school disruption due to COVID 19. We believe the time we will spend on March 11 will provide the best opportunity for training, staff feedback, and the successful implementation of our strategies to mitigate disruptions in learning.”
Coleman added that any further updates to the district’s response to COVID 19 will be conveyed to families “in the days and weeks ahead.”
*A reunification drill is an exercise to practice reuniting parents and guardians with students in the event of an emergency situation that prevents our schools from dismissing students according to routine procedures (e.g. after school lockdown).