Dear CM Parents,

While cold and flu season is never easy, this year it has been made a little more stressful with the emergence of the coronavirus While coronavirus does not yet represent a significant threat in the U.S., we want you to know that we are taking preliminary steps to prepare ourselves should the situation change. 
During the past three weeks, we have been in regular contact with the Boston Public Health Commission and the Department of Public Health to seek their advice, and we are diligently following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) . To direct our response, communication to our community, and information gathering, we have assembled a focused team here on campus. This group will monitor pertinent updates and will work closely with government agencies. As we think about things like campus visitors and travel-abroad programs, we also plan to educate our school community to make sure they are able to separate fact from fiction during this time when information about the virus is still evolving. 
One of our main goals will be to ease concerns and emphasize the facts about the virus. At this point, health officials are suggesting there is little we need to do beyond diligently practicing the kind of habits we would normally take to prevent the spread of colds and flu. Our School Nurse, Anne Batcheller, outlined these preventive practices in an email she sent out in January .  These habits include staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding sharing cups and utensils, and frequent handwashing. It is also not too late to get a flu shot if you have not already done so this season. 

CleanCo, our partner providing custodial care at Catholic Memorial, is providing constant best-practice cleaning by sanitizing bathrooms and locker areas and disinfecting surfaces throughout the building on a nightly basis. Hand sanitizing stations, disinfecting wipes, and Kleenex are available throughout the building and as requested by students, faculty, and staff.

Coronavirus notwithstanding, this is proving to be a tough flu season, and the more we can keep the flu or any illness isolated  away  from campus, the better for all of us. If your child does get sick (particularly vomiting or with a fever), we ask that you please notify the school nurse and keep your child at home   so that we can better monitor the health of our student body. 
In addition, if you plan to travel outside the country, you’ll want to check the travel advisories provided by the US. Department of State and follow whatever recommendations they may have. If you are entertaining visitors from outside the country, you’ll want to make yourself aware of what exposure they may have had to areas where the coronavirus is active.  
Please know that we will continue to monitor the information coming from the CDC and the DPH and we will implement additional precautionary measures as warranted by changing conditions. 
As always, please feel free to contact us if you have questions or concerns. 
Dr. Peter Folan
Mr. Andrew O'Brien
Ms. Anne Batcheller
School Nurse