Superintendent's Message

COVID-19 Update - March 24, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Community Members,

I hope this correspondence finds you in good health and learning to make the adjustments that define our current reality. We are making every attempt to recognize and stay current with Executive Orders, CDC guidance, and remote learning opportunities. Please know that all of the staff here in Mattituck are here to support you and one another.

According to health and government officials, the spread and increased positive cases of COVID-19 has and will continue at a rapid rate. In an address to the public on March 22nd, Governor Cuomo estimated that up to 80% of New York residents will be directly exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) as we reach the apex of this public health emergency. As expected, with the increased number of testing and confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) positive cases, school districts throughout Long Island are receiving notification directly from the school community who are testing positive. Late yesterday afternoon, we received notification that three employees spread out district-wide have tested positive for COVID-19.

Prior to and immediately upon closure of schools on March 13th, our district took action in all school buildings. To ensure our schools were thoroughly sanitized, all members of our custodial and grounds crews followed CDC “deep cleaning” recommendations. Our custodial team has done a “deep clean” of classrooms and all other areas, they are then locked in order to remain sanitized when not in use. This is one reason why we have limited access to our buildings with the exception of essential personnel and Cutchogue West operating to ensure we continue to function and provide the public and staff with necessary information and programs including our school lunch program. This area is cleaned multiple times throughout each day.

To help ensure COVID-19 does not continue to spread throughout our school community, please continue to exercise the safe practices recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Contact your physician if you are feeling ill.

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services has noted that when it receives a positive case, an investigation is opened, and close contact tracing is initiated. Those who are identified as a close contact are notified directly by the Department of Health, which will also issue quarantine orders and other directives as necessary. Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) laws still apply. If the Department of Health investigates close contact and determines no specific action is necessary, you will not hear directly from them or from school officials.

The Department of Health further advises that any individuals who need medical care should call their medical providers to report their illnesses prior to seeking care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital. In addition, anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms is asked to call the New York State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

Please review our website to find all previous letters, informational links related to COVID-19, Frequently Asked Questions and our Help Desk for more information. These are certainly unprecedented times as you all know. Our children need us to remain positive and calm. Our instructional program is intended to provide students with a sense of belonging/connectedness, a routine schedule, academic engagement and as much normalcy under these conditions as possible. We will continue to keep you updated as this health crisis continues to evolve. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher, principal, appropriate district administrator or me directly via email if you have any questions throughout this closure. Our district leaders are both working in-district and remotely in order to respond to all questions and concerns you may have.

Thank you for your patience. Please continue to keep your family safe and informed.

Warm regards,

Jill M. Gierasch